Our illustrious alumni work in a variety of practice settings across the country. Click on the profiles below to learn more about them.
Bathsheba Rooks, BSW
“I was in the 3rd grade when I was taken into foster care because of our parent’s neglect of my brother and I. Our parents were substance abusers at the time which factored into why I spent approximately 17 years in foster care. With the experiences I had growing up, I believed that I could make a difference in the lives of others. Bolstered by the guidance and support of a loving foster mom, I also began the long journey of healing that continues to this day. When I transferred into South Carolina State University, I decided that I wanted to become a social worker. I have a life today that I could never have imagined. You know, your fate does not have to be your destiny. Fate is what you are handed. Destiny is about what you could be. I'm living proof. The tragedies of my life no longer define me.”
Ms. Rooks is a 2009 graduate of the program and currently works as a Human Service Specialist II at the Union County Department of Social Services. Ms. Rooks is also a foster parent and promotes foster care and adoption throughout South Carolina. Additionally, Ms. Rooks is the South Carolina Foster Parent Association’s 2012 Social Worker of the Year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Olive Aneno, MSW
“I was born and raised in Uganda and subjected to extreme poverty. Often times, we children would have to run and hide within the forests to escape the militia who terrorized our villages. While still a child, I lost many family members, including my mother; from that moment forth, my siblings and I had to fend for ourselves. Our faith sustained us and eventually led us to an international Christian organization which provided sponsorships. This support was essential in my transition to the United States after being granted a scholarship to play volleyball at S.C. State University. Obtaining my Bachelors of Social Work at SCSU was the first step in my mission to give back what I’ve been given. I went on to obtain my Masters of Social Work from the University of Georgia and continue to realize my dream of improving the world.”
Ms. Aneno is a 2006 graduate of the program and currently works as a Social Service Specialist at the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Children and Family Services. Ms. Aneno is also a child advocate and national presenter for Compassion International (www.compassion.com). She can be reached email@example.com .
Tacarra Cook, BSW
Tacarra Jenise Cook, a Spring 2012 SC State University graduate from Lauderhill, Fla., recently completed a semester-long internship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in Kansas City, Mo. The OWH addresses and ameliorates health disparities that exist amongst women, including heart disease, lupus, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and violence against women, an area that Cook is aggressively involved in. The internship allowed Cook to receive federal employee benefits and a competitive salary. Her responsibilities included developing programs and initiatives which promoted awareness of the signs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), commonly known as domestic violence. “What drew me to wanting to work with women were personal experiences during which I saw how afraid and isolated women would become after being physically, emotionally, or mentally abused”, shares Cook. Working at the Office on Women’s Health allowed me to see how opinions-often those of men- have turned into decisions which affect the lives of women in our country,” she adds.
Knowledge about this rewarding internship came in the Fall of 2011, when Cook began interning at the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institute in Columbia, S.C. “Interning at Camille Graham was a very powerful experience for me as a young woman and a future social worker. It allowed me the opportunity to repeatedly see how one bad decision can change an entire life and family.”
She also elaborated on the difference between working with individuals versus policy-making. “As social workers, we have the opportunity to change women’s lives through both direct and indirect practice. It’s essential that as African-American women, we are at both ends of the spectrum-policy and practice, but we must also work with families to truly effect change with women.”
Ms. Cook is currently pursuing a case manager position with the S.C. Department of Corrections, where she hopes to work with female inmates between the ages of 18-24. “I feel that this is the work that I was born to do, but it will be essential that I maintain a balance between empowering others and working with the systems and resources at my disposal.” Ms. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.