BSW students launch “Pocket Change for Social Change” campaign
As a first step to establish a legacy that will benefit Indiana University School of Social Work students for years to come, the Bachelor of Social Work Student Association at IUPUI launched its “Pocket Change for Social Change” campaign March 1.
The goal of the campaign is to raise funds to be used to provide scholarships to social work students on all IU campuses. The BSW students have set a goal of asking 1 million people to give at least $1.
These students at the Indiana University School of Social Work have decided to step up and push the creation of scholarships that will help students following in their footsteps to become social workers, tapping into a passionate belief in their profession that has been a hallmark of the social work program at IU that traces its roots to 1911.
“Social workers advocate for people in almost every area of society,” Amanda Bajzatt, who will graduate with her BSW degree in May notes. “They make a real difference in the world. Whether counseling a client, advocating for the vulnerable, creating policies to help individuals or organizing social movements, social workers are a key component for social change everywhere,” said Bajzatt, who is a member of the association.
For some students though, the costs of their education can be overwhelming as they try to juggle working full or part-time, school, internships, family commitments, or something as basic as paying the heating bill. Some students may simply decide they will have to put their dream of helping others on hold. Amanda knows that only too well. For 10 years after she graduated from high school, she wanted to continue her education. However, neither she nor her family had the resources to make that happen. It was only after her father was awarded a veterans disability claim that she became eligible to receive some financial assistance.
Even then Amanda’s journey has been challenging. She travels to campus from her home town an hour away, has maintained employment alongside balancing school, internship hours, and community involvement. “I don’t get much sleep,” she says with a laugh. Her focus for the last four years has been school first, then to find time for everything else.
When asked why she chose to be involved in this campaign, Amanda shared her story, “I am a first generation graduate,” she explained. “Growing up, education was not talked about and viewed as a pipe dream. It was expected that I finish high school, get married, and work for what I needed,” Amanda said. “I have had every reason in the book to give up on my educational journey over the years. In my heart, I believe education allows us to become our dreams and even more. The person I am today, because of my educational experiences and opportunities, is a person I could not have even imagined I could become. I want this to be the possibility for everyone. I know the struggle and I want future students to know that it is possible to push through and make their dreams reality.
Can the students reach their goal of finding 1 million supporters?
“You never know what you can accomplish until you try,” Amanda said. “As a social worker you don’t always fight the battles that can be won. You fight the battles that need to be fought.”
For information about how to donate to Pocket Change for Social Change, visit www.iufoundation.fundly.com/pocketchangeforsocialchange or contact Amanda Bajzatt at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Carolyn Gentle Genitty at email@example.com.
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