Pathway:Program Evaluation and Applied Research
Field Placement:Positive Images, Detroit
Scholarship:MSW Donor Scholarship
I want to work with women and children and help with health disparities around the world, and I want to address the global infant mortality rate.
2020: A pandemic rages and MSW student Blessing Egbuogu is an essential worker. Her field placement, at Detroit's Positive Images, takes place entirely in-person. "I work with women and help them through their recovery from substance abuse," she explains. "It is a residential facility, so they must stay open. We do use teletherapy, but the women are there all the time. I live in Ann Arbor, and it is a challenge-the long drive plus the masks, distancing, sanitizing, checking temperatures, and answering questions about symptoms." It is a challenging job for a young woman with high aspirations.
Blessing's parents come from Nigeria; they arrived in the United States forty years ago. Blessing grew up in Ypsilanti and at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo she took a health science path with a minor in addiction studies. Following graduation, she worked in patient care at Michigan Medicine and volunteered at a pregnancy clinic.
Choosing the University of Michigan School of Social Work was easy for Blessing. "I was interested in global health and policy," she says. "I have seen how people of color around the world are treated differently by healthcare systems. I wanted to help people of color have more access to healthcare resources. I wanted to work with women and children and help with health disparities. I also wanted to address the global infant mortality rate and promote health equity for women. Friends who had gone into it said very good things, so I took a tour and spoke to some former students."
Blessing's MSW Donor Scholarship has been a tremendous help on her journey. "The scholarship has given me hope and encouragement," she says. "I have been given the opportunity to come to school here, and it has driven me to make the best of myself and be successful in the program.
"A lot of people do not further their education because of financial difficulties. Scholarships encourage them to further their education and pursue their goals. I was nervous because I had student loans from before, so when I got the scholarship from the School of Social Work, I thought, This is going to help me move forward. Look how generous these people are and how they believe in me. I can be a social worker! It motivates me for a brighter future. I believe that, once I graduate, I can be an international social worker focused on maternal and child health."
Why I Am Here
"I looked at the University of Michigan's Social Work program and saw how I could choose a specific pathway to focus on in my MSW program. I have heard very good things about this program. Then I was given the opportunity to be funded to come to school here."
Impact Of The Scholarship
"The scholarship has given me hope and encouragement. Look how generous these people are and how they believe in me! It motivates me for a brighter future."