Correction: Lisa Black was incorrectly identified. She is the social work program coordinator.
Social Work Student Association looks back at last year’s achievements and plans for this semester.
By Christy Romero
The Social Work Student Association is open to anyone interested in social work or making a difference on campus, social work and sociology Instructor Beatrix Perez said.
“In our first year, we collaborated with the San Antonio Fire Department to help fundraise for the Special Olympics of Texas. We were a part of the SACtacular event on campus as well as assisting students by conducting student surveys regarding important social issues,” Perez said.
Social work sophomore Arturo Hernandez joined the organization when it began in fall 2015 and remembered the first fundraiser.
They raised about $300 for the club throughout their first year, starting with selling pickles at SACtacular.
“It didn’t matter how much we made. We didn’t have any funds to start with. Anything helped,” he said.
“We started fundraising for ourselves. In order to have a club, we have to raise enough money to run it,” he said. “Our main goal was to find out what the main problem was here at the college and how we could help out.”
Surveys helped the organization realize student poverty is a big issue affecting students, which led to the establishment of an anti-poverty program where students can seek financial help with rent and bills, along with food and clothing.
Social work students will help develop and staff a food pantry when it is added to the anti-poverty program.
Around 40 surveys were distributed to students on campus, asking for areas of need such as economic problems, domestic violence, homelessness, hunger, substance abuse, assault and child care. Economic problems was selected in 75 percent of the surveys.
Hernandez said the club has helped other organizations on campus.
“We joined student life on helping clean up San Pedro Park last semester,” Hernandez said.
Perez said the group donated a $100 H-E-B gift card to the Church of Christ Student Center as a thank you for providing free food for students every Thursday. The group also attended career fairs at high schools.
“We did career fairs at Reagan, Warren High Schools, and Northeast Independent School District to help recruit future students and inform them on social work careers,” Perez said.
Six members attended the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors conference March 30-April 3.
“We were the only freshmen and sophomores from a two-year college attending the conference in Dallas. All attendees were juniors and seniors from four-year universities. This year the conference will take place in New Orleans,” Perez said.
The club plans to attend this event March 1–5.
“We are looking forward to helping the anti-poverty program on setting up and helping with the food pantry,” Hernandez said.
The Social Work Student Association has a Facebook page and meets on alternate weeks. Meetings for the next month are scheduled at 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays and at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Room 324 of Chance Academic Center. The next meeting is Wednesday.
For information, call sociology program coordinator Lisa Black at 210-486-0347 or Perez at 210-486-1327.