September 30, 2021

One alum's story of transforming to a social work career and positively influencing students and families

By: Chardonnay Ismail

2017 MSW graduate Colin Bauer knew one thing after graduation: to help children get the education they deserved.

Before attending the University of South Carolina, Bauer joined the Peace Corps. He was assigned to serve in the Caribbean nation of Grenada, where he was responsible for youth and community development and worked with boys and girls of the Grenadian Scout Association.

“Joining the Peace Corps was when it hit home for me. It was all about the partnerships and developing trust and relationships with local scout leaders in schools,” Bauer says. “It opened an array of social issues, such as high HIV and AIDS rates. The Peace Corps helped me recognize that sometimes you must put away some of your ideologies, and you can do great work together with partnerships, even in a different culture.”

After returning to the states, Bauer realized he wanted to pursue a career in social work. Throughout his time working with the Department of Social Services in North Carolina, he worked with a dropout prevention program where he had the opportunity to coordinate social work services and provide child and family-centered interventions. During his time in North Carolina, he realized to become a school’s social worker, he would need a master’s in Social Work.

Within three years, Bauer graduated with his MSW, became a licensed social worker, and worked as a Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services clinical counselor at Spartanburg School District Seven. Within a year, he became the district social worker for 14 schools, where he conducts home visits and can connect families to community resources such as health and mental health agencies.

Read the full story, written by Chris Woodley, on the College of Social Work website.


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