During her senior year of high school, IU School of Social Work BSW graduate Amelia Rodriguez served as a mentor at Camp Mariposa, a program for youth impacted by substance abuse in their families. As she worked alongside social workers and case managers to help break the cycle of addiction, she discovered a passion for social justice.
“The more I got to know the campers, the more I realized the power of preventative programming,” Rodriguez said. “It was clear that practicing social work would allow me to play a role in prevention at all ages.”
In 2016, Rodriguez enrolled in the IU School of Social Work at IUPUI. She participated in various service opportunities through the university, including the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship program. While in the program, she led service events on campus and partnered with local neighborhoods and schools to address needs in the Indianapolis community.
Rodriguez said her service experiences allowed her to explore interests in community programming and development.
“Not only were we educating ourselves about social issues we were passionate about, but we also got to select the site where we would actually play a role in creating change,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez will pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health dual degree at Northwestern University with plans to become a pediatric physical therapist. She trusts that her social work education will serve her well as she implements programming for children’s health.
“I plan to use the knowledge gained from my undergraduate coursework and practicum at IUSSW to bring a different perspective to the field,” Rodriguez said.