2009 BSW Graduate: Elaina Wood -- Alumni Spotlight
I am the program coordinator for Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Outreach team. The team does outreach to homeless youth in all five boroughs of NYC, from 7pm-2am. We provide clothing, food, safe sex supplies, transportation to shelters, referrals, and we just implemented a syringe exchange program. Streetwork is a harm reduction agency that assists runaway and homeless youth 16-24 years of age. I manage six outreach staff, and three funding contracts.
What keeps you committed & inspired in the profession of social work?
I love working with youth and their energy is often what keeps me going. I have a deep connection with our mission statement and the harm reduction philosophy. Even through graduate school, commitment and inspiration for the work never ends. It is easy to get burnt out but it is so important to find personal and professional support systems. If they are not in place at your agency you have to create them for yourself.
What did you appreciate about your time within Nyack's BSW program?
My education in the BSW program at Nyack College was a time of immense growth for me. I appreciated the multicultural approach to the work. All of my teachers were passionate, and happened to be women and this was very empowering to me.The BSW program at Nyack College laid the foundation regarding ethics, values and the foundation-based skills that I needed to continue into my career and educational endeavors.
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