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Student Interviews - Melanie Reid
How did you become interested in the Howard University School of Social Work?
While working as a Deputy Sheriff for ten years for Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in Charlotte, NC, I have taken generations, (i.e., Grandfather, father, son) of men to prison. This experience touched my heart so deeply I knew God placed me in this position to make a difference. After moving here from Charlotte, NC, I was still working in law enforcement but at the federal level as a contractor. The director of the agency I was assigned to as a Special Police Officer, told me she was a graduate of Howard University School of Social Work, which peeked my interested. The school has shown a history of commitment to building and advancing future practitioners and future leaders by laying the foundation to improve social and economic conditions that have impacted the lives of African Americans, other people of color, as well as people throughout this world. After much consideration, I felt Howard University School of Social Work was the best fit for me due to the issues the African American as well as other people of color were facing. I consider this to be a contemporary social issue especially with the most recent shootings and killings by the police, black on black crimes as a well as domestic violence abuse.
As a woman, a mother of a son, and daughter I desire to help by reaching back into my community to break the chain to prison life. Whether the problems may be due to lack of understanding, substance abuse, and mental health issues, something must be done to build stronger families and understanding. I hope to make these changes through Marco social work.
What was your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience was being chosen to go to Haiti for Alternative Spring Break 2017. I see Haiti as ‘Black Paradise” that many do not want you to explore or visit. The people are beautiful, and the land is even more beautiful. I experienced how the people came together as a community to make sure everyone’s needs are provided. Being able to provide a natural resource to the school to help save money. Going to the orphanage and serving the children with new shoes. Learning how microloans are helping women become entrepreneurs. Visiting the Mission of Grace, and learning the history of Haiti was more than I could ever envisioned. Haiti is a place I will continue to visit and advocate. I am very grateful I was chosen to serve the people of Haiti.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future is to move to Texas to continue the journey in the practice of Marco social work. Obtaining my master’s degree was not just to say I completed something but to use it to be the change this country needs. I hope to use the knowledge gained at HUSSW by continuing pursuing discovery, research, advocacy, building partnerships, and innovative practices.