University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Student Profile: Pressley on Community Organization

Christopher Pressley, Community Organization Student
 

In my first few semesters at the UConn School of Social Work, I absorbed a lot, particularly from the knowledge and experiences of my social work professors as they guided me through the basics of social work.

Christopher Pressley

Community Organization
Advanced – 2nd year field
Focused Area of Study: Women, Children and Families
Bachelor's Degree: Rutgers University, Bachelor in Exercise Science

I originally wanted to be a physical therapist but ended up learning to help people via social work at the University of Connecticut. In my first few semesters at the UConn School of Social Work, I absorbed a lot, particularly from the knowledge and experiences of my social work professors as they guided me through the basics of social work. Their teaching of theoretical and practical aspects of social work, both from text and field experiences, created a solid foundation that was the basis of my student journey. It was not only the professors who I learned from though. My classmates at UConn also contributed greatly to my knowledge and understanding of the social work profession. This was through conversations, both in and out of the classroom, about our personal and professional experiences in the social work field. By cultivating these relationships with classmates as well as my professors, I have been able to figure out what avenues in social work I want to pursue.

Now that I am in my 2nd year, I have had the ability to be much more involved with the school community than before. As a student with a community organization concentration, this is critical because you must be involved and a part of the community, if you want to help lead it. I have been lucky to build friendships and connections with many social work students who have been shining example of how to organize communities around social justice, both at UConn and in Hartford, for the benefit of everyone. I will seek to keep that social justice torch lit, and pass it on to incoming and current students so this legacy does not die out.

My advice to any incoming student is to get involved in any way you can! We as students are all busy in our lives, so don't use that as an excuse! We all make time for what is important in our lives. Join a club, go to an event, join GSO (Graduate Student Organization), or just talk to your classmates when you are at school. Just get involved wherever you feel comfortable (although as a social worker I would say that we all need to be uncomfortable in order to truly progress in our lives). Do not let these opportunities to be part of a community of like-minded people to pass you by. These are enriching experiences that you cannot learn in the classroom. Before you know it, you will have graduated and you will be disappointed you didn't get more involved. Don't worry, it is never too late! Be grateful that you have an amazing opportunity to help people’s lives through your education and experiences at the UConn School of Social Work.