My wonderful ACE freshman mentee is Anna Gardner! Anna is from Powell, Ohio. She is a social work major and a Spanish minor at Ohio State and she is enrolled in a program that will allow her to graduate with her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work in five years. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to sit down with Anna and talk all about her first year, her major, dreams, and inspirations.
I first asked Anna about how she decided on her major of social work. Anna first came to learn about social work during her sophomore year of high school. In her english class she had to do a semester-long, career project and pick a prospective career to research and present to the class at the end. Anna and I attended the same high school just one year apart, so I remember this same assignment. Anna knew that she wanted a job that helped people because of her love for community service but she didn’t want to pick a career that would put her behind a desk in an office job. Upon researching for this project, social work seemed like a good fit for Anna due to her love for community service and individuals with special needs. Also, Annas younger brother is on the autism spectrum and, similar to my story, had a large impact on Annas desire to help people.
Anna and I also talked about volunteering opportunities in high school. In high school, Anna was very involved in the community through her church. She attended weekly bible studies, youth groups, and volunteered many places with the church. Anna and I also have a shared experience of both volunteering at the Delaware Common Ground Free Store during high school, in our hometown. Anna also went on five mission trips in high school to different locations in the United States. However, Anna’s favorite volunteer experience was being a camp counselor every summer at an orchestra camp, as she played the bass in the orchestra in middle school and high school. This love for community service and volunteering influenced Anna’s choice to join ACES at Ohio State. Anna choose ACES because she felt as though it fit the best out of all the scholars communities with the values of social work. Anna said that she knew when applying to Ohio State that she wanted to do scholars in order to live in community with people of similar interests. She also loved how ACES centered itself around service and doing good unto others, so it was easy for her to pick which community to join.
Anna’s dream job is to be a mental health and substance abuse social worker because she wants to work either in a hospital or a mental health care clinic helping those suffering from mental illnesses. Anna’s dream job would consist of connecting people to resources they need, running group therapy, and advocating for mental health reform on a policy level. Anna also would love to use her Spanish minor to work with all populations at a micro level, including Spanish-speakers and advocate for health care reform at a macro level. Anna would also love to be a medical social worker and serve as a liaison between patients and their families and doctors. In conclusion, Anna would love to have many different jobs within the social work field and she is keeping her options open and considering all of them.
When I asked Anna what has surprised her most about Ohio State since arriving on campus, Anna told me that she loves just how flexible her schedule is and she likes that there is not one day that looks the same as the previous one, unlike the rigid high school routine of her past. Anna feel as though at Ohio State offers many more opportunities for growth and development through that.
I absolutely loved getting to sit down and talk to Anna about her first year at Ohio State and all of the aspects of Annas incredibly bright future in social work.
- How did you decide your major?
- What type of volunteering and involvement were you involved with in high school?
- Why did you choose ACES?
- What is your dream job and why?
- What has surprised you most about Ohio State since arriving on campus?