The journey of becoming PhD

Our Chief Executive is now Dr. Viva L. White. She states “this was a journey like no other college academic experience and it was a tedious process“.  Now, she can share with others her story of achievement.

I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Social Welfare to AGITATE the SOCIAL WORK profession to DO SOMETHING about EDUCATION in under-resourced, marginalized, impoverished, and disenfranchised communities.

This journey started in September 2015.  Initially, my plan was to conduct research about the benefits of community schools; however, I wanted to research a problem, and community schools are a solution.  For the record, I believe in the community school model because I believe the model embodies self-determination based on the needs of the community.  The community school model is undergirded as a social work concept since it is the person in the environment framework and the evidence demonstrates benefits to students and families in under-resourced, marginalized, impoverished, and disenfranchised communities.

Next, the attempt was to discuss the impact of community violence on interpersonal relationships in academic settings.  This neither was a research topic that seemed feasible to conduct research on at that time.  Finally, I resolved on examining those who leave high school and choose service-learning programs for high school completion. The numbers are always counted but how many stories are told about the process of leaving high school.  Each student leaves high school for different reasons and I wanted to tell that story.

So, read my dissertation “The Phenomenological Exploration of Academic Reengagement for High School Completion.”  There is much work to do by the social work profession to address the needs of students and families who live in under-resourced, marginalized, impoverished, and disenfranchised communities.

Be part of the solution to address educational issues. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. – Malcolm X.  The social work profession must be part of the solution by facilitating change and preparing for the future.