Meet Amelia LeGarde, a graduate student in the Department of Social Work.
Why did you choose UMD's MSW program?
I chose UMD’s MSW program because of the child welfare focus and the advanced standing track. I’ve been doing this work, child welfare, for the last 8.5 years. ICWA and working with families is a passion of mine and I see myself working in this capacity for the coming years.
What has been your most meaningful experience at UMD/in the program so far?
Attending classes in the time of COVID has been challenging, but I really appreciate the support I’ve received from some of the staff to include Amy Madsen, Jennifer McCleary and Bree Bussey.
Do you have any general advice for incoming students or for students interested in the field of social work?
For especially my fellow students of color, I want them to know that they belong here and they need to be here. It’s critical that we be represented.
For all students interested in the field of social work, I offer the advice to remember that we work with families. We may not always remember who we worked with, but they will remember us; their lives continue outside of a 9-5 gig—don’t forget that.
How do you hope to make a difference in the lives of others through your career?
I’ve made it my goal to support families staying together while maintaining the safety and well-being of the children. Working in the child welfare system is challenging, but I hope to continue to support families in preservation, reunification and connectedness.