Lynn residents get help with new SSU scholarship

Dany Acosta, Dany Acosta, one of the Accelerate the Future Foundation scholarship recipients and creator of the “empower” scholarship program.

SALEM — Three Lynn students attending Salem State University received $20,000 scholarships after the Accelerate the Future Foundation offered the school $400,000, which was divided among 20 students.

The scholarship was given to students who are obtaining a Masters in Social Work. It will also help the private family foundation achieve its goal “to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of practitioners in the field,” according to the statement.

Francisca Daniels, one of three MSW scholarship recipients from Lynn, said it was “amazing” and she felt “honoured” to have received such a scholarship.

“This scholarship helps me create generational wealth for me and my family,” she said. “It’s almost unheard of in the social work industry to get such a scholarship, especially for an immigrant like me; I’m so grateful.”

Daniels graduated from Salem State in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and is currently working as an intern at Aspire Early Intervention in Lynn. She said her plan after completing her master’s degree in 2023 is to become a school social worker to work with families who “don’t speak English” to help them “navigate the education system”.

“I want to thank Salem State for giving me the tools I needed to jumpstart my career,” she said.

The first step to qualifying for the scholarship is to apply for the Graduate Admissions Application. Factors taken into consideration are the individual’s GPA, socioeconomic status, financial aid, and both involvement in campus organizations and underrepresented groups.

Due to the pandemic, the need for social workers is much higher, with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 12% increase in the number of social workers between 2020 and 2030 given the number of people seeking help. support services. However, there has been a decline in the number of social workers going into the field — an issue that many are seeking to combat, including Johnathon Lukens, Salem State’s MSW program coordinator.

Lukens said this scholarship provides students with the opportunity to complete the program in a much better financial position than in previous years, as people who should have completed it in four years can now complete it in two.

“It’s a game-changer for so many students,” he said. “It’s nice to see a donor who has recognized that we have a behavioral health shortage and say ‘this is where we need to put that money’.”

The Salem State School of Social Work is the premier public social work program in Massachusetts, whose mission is “to provide students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for excellence as social work practitioners.” Students learn the skills necessary to become clinical practitioners through hands-on experience and classroom experience.

Dany Acosta, another scholar and creator of the “empower” scholarship program, said he hopes this scholarship will help him open doors that might otherwise be restricted as the waiting list for health aid mental has become “long”.

“I want to provide opportunities for people who were in the situation I was in – to achieve what would otherwise have taken years,” he said. “I just hope my career begins to shine a light not only on so many beautiful people, but also on providing quality service to those who need it.”

Rachel Galatis can be reached at [email protected]

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