Touro College wins Latin Educational Leadership Award | Graduate School of Social Work
MSW first year student Dariana Burgos in Touro also received a coveted scholarship. Burgos was one of several graduate social work students in New York City who received scholarships to help increase the number of Latinx social workers.
Presenting the honor of educational leadership, LSWCSF Vice President Ruby Burdiez said the award recognizes “an organization’s unique contribution to the advancement of social work training and practice, and … Exemplifies the values of the social work profession ”.
“In addition to being a leader in the field of social work, Touro has always established itself as an educational institution that successfully prepares its students for the complex, dynamic and ever-changing world,” said Burdiez.
In accepting the recognition on Touro’s behalf, the founding dean of GSSW and Professor Dr Steven Huberman recalled the leadership he received when the school was launched fifteen years ago from Touro’s founding president Dr Bernard Lander, zt ”l.
“He said, ‘Build partnerships between the Jewish and Latino communities.’ And we did. Over the next decade, we trained over 1,000 clinical social workers, many of them Latin American. “
The LSWCF’s mission is to ensure an adequate number of culturally and linguistically competent Latinx social workers in New York City and to improve needed services in the community. To facilitate this goal, he is seeking the support of the city’s colleges of social work for a commitment of funds for scholarships.
Speakers at the event spoke of the need for more Latinx social workers. According to estimates from the 2018 Census Bureau, there were nearly 60 million Hispanics or Latinos in the United States (roughly eighteen percent of the total population). In New York City, more than 100,000 lost their jobs during the pandemic, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in the population, said Dr Rosa Gil, president and CEO of the housing nonprofit. affordable Comunilife and another of the winners of the evening.
“We need Latino social workers to make sure we create equity and justice in social services and mental health and many other things our people need,” Gil said.
Fulfill the need
Dariana Burgos plans to help fill the need when she completes her MSW. Born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, her parents moved from the Dominican Republic to the city. She was inspired to help others by helping family members who did not speak English and by watching her mother take care of the children.
Burgos started out as an internship at her own school, then after graduating from City College New York with her BA, she worked as a teaching assistant at a public elementary school in Harlem that cares for children with special needs. She is still employed at the school, providing social, emotional and academic support.
For a while Burgos thought she was heading towards a teaching career, but changed her focus to becoming a licensed social worker in an educational setting: “Working at my old school opened the door for me. I knew I liked working with children, even when I was very young. I was one of those who knew up front that I wanted to work with people and help provide services that might be beyond their reach.