IU South Bend Master of Social Work 2016 Direct Program graduate, Shanelle L. Brown Best, started her journey with social work at an early age. As a daughter of two parents who struggled with mental health and addictions, Shanelle encountered a social worker who stepped into her life while she was a young girl. That social worker gave Shanelle a lot of support and helped her navigate through challenges. After that experience, Shanelle always wanted to be a social worker and give back just as someone gave to her. Shanelle took the saying, “I am a product of my environment,” and turned it around for the good of her life. Shanelle uses her life challenges to bring awareness to others and strive to overcome challenges in life. For Shanelle, becoming a social worker has been a healthy coping strategy for her and has allowed her to impact others.
While Shanelle was able to complete her degree through the MSW Direct Program, she did face some challenges along the way with one of them being her husband’s transfer to Georgia. Luckily, Shanelle was able to finish her last four classes and her practicum through the MSW Direct Program. Upon graduation, Shanelle worked as an intern at an Employee Assistance Program and was later employed there full-time. As time went on, Shanelle wanted to gain more clinical experience, so she began doing groups and clinical assessments at a community mental health company that deals with clients with persistent mental illness. Shanelle became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia in March 2017 and recently became fully licensed in February 2020. Currently, Shanelle is in the process of opening her own private practice called Bestway Solutions, LLC. Shanelle’s practice will specialize in reproductive medicine, grief, loss, trauma and anxiety.
Shanelle credits her biggest accomplishment as becoming fully licensed and providing support in the recent Covid-19 crisis. On the other hand, Shanelle says her biggest challenge is in finding her true niche. Shanelle has struggled to find out what area of social work truly gives her satisfaction. Shanelle says that she always learned to be open to what the field of social work has to offer. While serving her clients, Shanelle finds it important to practice self-care and be able to take the time needed to protect her mental health. As a mother, social worker, and wife, Shanelle says that self-care is essential.
Favorite Quote: ” Making the Best out of Life requires the Journey” – Shanelle Best