In honor of Social Work Month this March, Walden would like to acknowledge and thank social workers and social work students across the country, who dedicate themselves to helping improve peoples’ lives every day. This year’s theme, “Social Work Paves the Way for Change,” reminds us of what the social work profession has done to bring about positive changes in society and for individuals, helping to build, support, and empower positive family and community relationships.

As part of our commitment and support of this important profession, we’re asking current students and those interested in exploring a career in social work to share their stories of how they have served the community or made a positive difference. Such individuals could be eligible for one of the 2015 Barbara Solomon Scholarships for Social Work. Named for a pioneering social worker and Walden board member, the scholarships are awarded to outstanding new students who begin a Walden social work graduate program in 2015, starting with the March 2015 start date.

Keep reading to find out more about the great work performed within the social work field, discover interesting facts, learn why Walden faculty members decided to pursue this profession, and become inspired by the words of some of the world’s most influential minds.

  • Social Work Paves the Way for Change

  • Did You Know?
  • Making History
  • Rewards
  • Inspiration
  • Change Your Future

Did You Know?

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S. More than 650,000 professionals in the U.S. hold social work degrees.
  • Social workers help people in all situations and stages of life, from children waiting for adoption to the elderly in hospice care.
  • You can find social workers in hospitals, schools, police departments, mental health clinics, private practices, military facilities, and corporations.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs—the largest employer of social workers in the U.S.—employs more than 10,000 professional social workers to serve veterans and their families.
  • Hundreds of social workers hold political office, including two U.S. senators and seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • More than 40% of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers.

Source: National Association of Social Workers, Social Worker Profession, (viewed online Feb. 20, 2014).

Social Workers Make History

Social work pioneer Jane Addams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, making her the second woman to receive this award. Best known for establishing settlement houses for immigrants in Chicago in the early 1900s, Addams was a dedicated community organizer and peace activist.

Frances Perkins, a social worker, was the first woman to be appointed to the cabinet of a U.S. president. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor, Perkins drafted much of the New Deal legislation in the 1940s.

Social worker and civil rights trailblazer Whitney M. Young Jr. became the executive director of the National Urban League while serving as dean for the Atlanta School of Social Work. He also served as president of the National Association of Social Workers in the late 1960s. A noted expert in American race relations, Young was acknowledged by Time magazine as a key inspiration for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Dr. Dorothy Height held many positions in government and social service organizations, but she is best known for her leadership roles in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).

Source: National Association of Social Workers, Colorado Chapter, Social Work Profession, (viewed online Feb. 20, 2014).

The Rewards of Social Work

Walden faculty members share why they chose to pursue careers in social work:

Gilbert Singletary 

“I chose the social work profession because I was interested in becoming a change agent. I want to be part of the change that is needed in the world.”
Gilbert Singletary, PhD

Sebrena Jackson 

“I was born to do this work. When I received my Master of Social Work almost 20 years ago, I had no idea of all of the opportunities it would provide.”
Sebrena Jackson, PhD

Pablo Arriaza 

“I wanted my life to have meaning. In giving back to others, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Through my work, I can leave a legacy for others.”
Pablo Arriaza, PhD

Dawn Higgins 

“When I pursued my Master of Social Work, I wanted a degree that would allow me to work with children. Now I know the power of my degree. I love being a social worker and would not have chosen any other path.”
Dawn Higgins, PhD

Need Inspiration?

The following quotes may inspire you to continue to make a difference in the lives of others:

Buddha Statue

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”


“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the next generation.”
Chinese Proverb

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Anne Frank

Source:, Social Service/Social Work Quotes, (viewed online Feb. 20, 2014).

Change Your Future

If you are interested in discovering what it takes to become a social worker, start exploring our graduate-level social work programs or contact an enrollment advisor today at 1-866-492-5336 for more details.