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I Want to Change the World for Communities in Need

Rachel Wall, MSW Candidate

  • Practice Area:
    Management of Human Services
  • Concentration:
    Community and Social Systems
  • Scholarships:
    Frank Family Endowed Scholarship; Mervin and Helen S. Pregulman Scholarship; Allen and Franka Charlupski Endowed Scholarship

“I always knew I wanted to do something to make the world better,” says MSW candidate Rachell Wall. As an undergrad at Northwestern, Rachel majored in Human Development and Psychological Services—"as close as they would let me get to social work!” she jokes. After graduation in 2011 she came to Ann Arbor for her husband to attend grad school, did direct service work with adults with developmental disabilities, and worked in a Jewish day school in as an office manager. “I realized there were a lot of skills I could learn from a master’s in social work that would prepare me for the next level of making an impact. Interpersonal skills are often undervalued in our society,—but they are vital to improving the lives of individuals and communities.”

 Rachel looked at just one master’s in social work program the one at UM. “If I was going to do it,” she says, “I was going to do it here at UM. And it’s been great!”

Rachel was accepted as part of the School’s Jewish Communal Leadership Program (JCLP). She is the beneficiary of three scholarships: a Frank Family Endowed Scholarship; a Mervin and Helen S. Pregulman Scholarship; and an Allen and Franka Charlupski Endowed Scholarship. The impact of the scholarships has been significant for Rachel, “To be able to dedicate all my time to studying and serving the community is huge.”

“I love learning new ways to think about issues in the world, especially as part of the Jewish Communal Leadership Program. I love looking at what I learn in class through the lens of the Jewish community. There are strong communal values in Judaism. There is a long tradition of caring for those in need and caring for the community. I believe that, to be a good Jew is to be good person, using one’s power and privilege to help people who don’t have it.”

Rachel’s field placement is with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. With a concentration in management she wanted to see how a large communal organization runs. “I am getting some great experiences at my field placement,” she says. “I am seeing how the organization is situated and how different pieces of the community it serves fit together. I’m interested in working in a a large organization like that, one with a broad reach that supports a diverse community in diverse ways; I had not considered a Jewish Federation as a career path before, but now I can see how it might be a good fit for me. I am also interested in learning about corporate social responsibility, and how to get funding from companies to support projects in communities with need. I see all this abundance in one area, and great need elsewhere, and I want to be part of the driving force to make it a little more balanced.”

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