Equipped for Serving: Jermain McGriff

“Are you looking for a unique, Christian academic community…?”

It’s the start of a probing question heard almost daily by New York Metropolitan radio audiences.

Nyack College has been the answer to that question for literally hundreds of people seeking an education in an environment that combines faith and learning. Social work major Jermain McGriff was one of those people.

The Brooklyn resident already had a job when he heard those radio commercials. He already knew God’s call on his life was to serve people and to give back to the community. So his role as a case manager for HeartShare Human Services of New York in Brooklyn could have meant he was all ready to fulfill his calling. Quite competently, he has worked with clients who suffer from chronic conditions such as cancer or HIV/AIDS and has been responsible for helping them file for benefits like Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income and housing. But Jermain wanted to take his job performance from good to great.

Jermain serves the Social Work Organization, (SWO), a New York City campus club, as the group’s historian. SWO advocates for social work education, community service and keeps students abreast of social and political issues. As the chronicler of SWO activities, Jermain uses his photojournalism skills to document special events the club sponsors such as the Connection dinner, “Back to School” blessing, and fundraisers like the Walkathon.

The C.S. Lewis quote—“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching,”—comes to mind when Director of Field Education and Academic Adviser, Percelene MCLain, thinks of Jermain.

A beloved mentor to many social work students, Mrs. MCLain shares, “I met Jermain McGriff in 2016 as his adviser when he enrolled in the Nyack College School of Social Work. He has managed to maintain a good GPA throughout his studies while supporting and raising his family, as well as handling full-time employment and substantial church responsibilities. He has been a big brother and trusted friend amongst his peers and oftentimes has been the “voice of reason” who has helped students to remain focused on their studies. As the only male member of the 2018–2019 Social Work Organization, he has unquestionably demonstrated respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, reliability and loyalty. Over the years, Jermain has never strayed away from modeling a man of integrity.”

It is the vision of School of Social Work Dean Dr. Kwiryung Yun to prepare students to become “competent and compassionate catalysts,” who are rooted in their relationship with Christ to serve others. Jermain McGriff exemplifies the fruit of her vision.

Learn more about Nyack’s Bachelor of Science social work program.