Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Throughout the course of my life, many factors have influenced my decision to become a leader and advocate for the geriatric population. My grandparents have deeply impacted my life, which gave me the drive and motivation to want to work with and improve the lives of other older adults. I want to be a leader for other students who are questioning if they want to work with older adults and provide them the tools to succeed.
Five years from now, I see myself working in a community with older adults who are diagnosed with dementia. My grandmother, and best friend, suffered from dementia and therefore I’m very familiar with the neurological disease and how it presents. My entire life I helped with the care of my grandparents including providing direct personal care as well as emotional support for them and the rest of my very tight knit family. This experience fueled my desire and passion to work with others in the aging population as a career.
The current aging of the baby boomer generation means there is an expected increase in the population of Americans eighty five and older. As the aging population continues to grow, so will the rate of chronic and incurable diseases. As a society, we need to better prepare to provide quality care for these adults. Older adults don’t receive the recognition they need in our field, and due to the increase in the older adult population it is critical to engage social work students in this growing field. This will better connect younger generations with the older generations to dissolve stereotypes and negative perceptions of older adults. I want to influence incoming students and help them see the rewards of older adult social work. This fellowship provides me the platform to speak to other students interested in this field, as well as being able to advocate to build an entire workforce specialized by aging.

Erin from New York
Boston College