March is National Professional Social Worker Month, and FCA is celebrating by featuring three of the social workers on our staff. This week, Marissa Morgan, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Supervisor of FCA's ASPIRE High School Component, talks about why she became a social worker and how she works with students.
I’ve always been intrigued by people and their wide range of experiences. As a teenager I became interested in the minds of individuals and decided to study Psychology as an undergraduate. But as I matriculated through college, I became more interested in learning how to help people, in addition to just understanding from a Psychology perspective. This desire to help set me on the path towards social work. By the time I began working at Family & Children’s Agency, I was beyond sure that Social Work was the path for me. Social Workers offer such a wide range of services, but the end goal is always to provide support and improve a client’s ability to succeed on their own.
At Family & Children’s Agency I supervise the High School Component of ASPIRE. The program begins by working with 8th graders and parents to support the transition into high school. We continue to work with the high school students through graduation; and for those who receive scholarships, through college. This work is important because many students need additional guidance through high school but aren’t likely to seek it out. They may need suggestions on how to effectively self-advocate, find the right resources, or even to create a new system of organization to help them better manage the workload and extracurricular demands of high school. We are also a resource to parents, whether through attending educational team meetings, assisting with finding community resources, planning trips to offer career exposure to students, or being a sounding board to help them navigate new challenges. Ultimately, we are part of the supportive village surrounding our families.
Our goal is to see all our students graduate high school and become productive citizens with college or career plans in motion. In my almost 10 years, it has been a joy to watch each student mature and grow into their adulthood, knowing that ASPIRE is on their team. Some of the most rewarding moments for me are when I hear graduates or upperclassmen giving unprompted, sound advice to younger students about what it takes to be successful in high school and beyond. When I hear them sharing skills they learned through ASPIRE and acknowledging that ASPIRE is benefiting them, it’s uplifting and reminds me of the value of this work.
-Marissa Morgan, LCSW