Emily Woodard ‘24 was a transfer student focused on her goal of becoming a social worker when her former guidance counselor recommended Anna Maria College to her.  

Anna Maria College’s Bachelor’s in Social Work checked off all the boxes that Emily was looking for: it was a commutable distance away from home, it had a small campus that fostered learning, and it had a BSW program that could streamline her into the MSW program.  

“When I toured campus for the first time, it was a smaller campus, and it wasn’t huge or overwhelming. It felt, for lack of a better term, “homey”. I felt comfortable here,” Emily said. 

After her own personal experiences with social workers, Emily was inspired to enter the field and help other people, particularly young adults and teenagers. Every day in class she learns new skills and social work styles that she can then implement in the field during her internships.  

“In the BSW we are basically learning how to conduct interactions or counseling sessions with different populations. We learn what to expect in the field and experience two internships at the bachelor’s level. So, it’s a great experience to know different areas of the field that you may be interested in and then determine if they’re best for you or not. I was able to try two different completely different areas of the field myself and I actually ended up loving both of them!” 

During her junior year, Emily worked at DCF in the Investigation Unit. She would conduct home visits and check in on kids and their families. Now as a senior, she is interning at The Keystone Educational Collaborative in Leominster where she works with teenagers who have social and emotional disabilities. She acts as an extra counselor providing one-on-one counseling sessions to students who need extra support.  

“I really enjoy working with high school students and teenagers because I’m so close in age, I feel like I have the most confidence when approaching them and it’s easier for me to interact,” Emily explained.  

Ultimately, Emily’s goal is to become either a high school social worker or to work in a corrections facility. The career versatility of social work is something that drew her to the field as she explores her passions for social issues such as Womens Rights, LGBT rights, racial injustices, poverty, and more. 

“My plan is to attend Anna Maria’s MSW program. After I, hopefully, graduate with my master’s, I plan on going back to DCF for my internship. I want to gain experience in that sector and get a better feel for what I am interested in career wise. I know the master’s program gives me a lot more options and opportunities as far as job placements go, so I am excited to start my MSW degree after graduating with my BSW in May.” 

Emily is looking forward to using her personal experiences to help others who regularly interact with social workers.  

“I am happy to be a social worker because there are people who need someone to advocate or support them, especially those who don’t have a family or loved ones in the first place. Sometimes having that extra support, or people in your corner, can really make a huge difference in getting the kind of help you need.”