Social Work Month | Meet Our Social Workers

Posted by: Unknown on Tuesday, March 16, 2021
For Social Work Month we asked our social workers some getting to know you questions. Meet Vivian:
 
1. Why did you go into social work?
I wanted to go into a helping profession that didn't require much math, science, or blood and guts.
 
2. Favorite color?
Varies but primarily pink, gray and black.
 
3. What are your hobbies?
Being with grandchildren, reading, listening to music, and being in the sun at the pool or ocean.
 
4. How long have you been a social worker?
42 years
 
5. What is rewarding about your current position?
The variety of clients and their issues so that things are never boring. I always learn something new from my clients and I've been blessed to see some amazing examples of resilience over the years.
 
6. Favorite food?
Salmon ravioli at Tulio's in Seattle plus a wide variety of junk food.
 
7. What is one thing you consistently do every day?
Read - actual books, no devices
 
8. What would you be doing if you were not a social worker?
Librarian or bookstore employee
 
9. Favorite book(s)?
Too many to possibly name - I love fiction and non-fiction - but I want to give a shout out to Harlan Coben, an excellent author from my hometown of Livingston, NJ - great mysteries/thrillers.
 
10 What's your biggest take away that you have learned from being a social worker?
To listen, clarify, empathize, and understand that this world is gray, not black and white. And that we need to never stop learning.
 
For Social Work Month we are getting to know all of our social workers. Meet Jane:
 
Why did you go into social work?
It was sort of an accident. I was in law school when I realized it wasn’t for me. I got a state job working with juvenile delinquents. A colleague I met there told me “Jane, you need to get yourself an MSW.” And he was right! I found my calling.
 
Favorite color?
Favorite color depends on the context and the day. Right now, it’s green.
 
What are your hobbies?
I love to knit and bake bread.
 
How long have you been a social worker?
Over 30 years now.
 
What is rewarding about your current position?
Being a guardian is a particular kind of social work. What I love about it is it gives me the opportunity to advocate for vulnerable individuals.
 
Favorite food?
If it’s pasta, I’m in.
 
What is one thing you consistently do everyday?
Pray.
 
What would you be doing if you were not a social worker?
If I could do anything at all, I would work in a yarn store. Or be a dog walker.
 
Favorite book(s)?
I have a long-standing love affair with a fictional Boston detective named Spenser. And lately, I have discovered a series of mysteries being solved by a group of vampires who knit.
 
What's your biggest take away that you have learned from being a social worker?
Unto the least of these. We are all a crisis or two away from devastation, and I am blessed to be able to spend every day working towards the best interests of folks who don’t have the wherewithal to manage on their own.

Meet Cathy:

Why did you go into social work? 

I believe it began in first grade before I realized what social work was. I decided to walk to school with a class mate that was consistently bullied. To advocate for those whose voice isn't heard or don't fit into "society’s expectations" 

What is your favorite color?

I have many so choosing a favorite may be difficult to narrow down. I do have a lot of grey in my décor and wardrobe, but on the bright side teal and coral stand out. 

What are your hobbies and interests?

I do like to challenge myself with plants and watching them grow or keeping them alive. 

How long have you been a social worker?

I'd say most of my life; but as a Licensed Social Worker, 12 years. 

What is rewarding about your current position? 

The ability to help others. 

What is your favorite food?

I'd have to say I enjoy Mediterranean food the most. 

What is the one thing you consistently do every day? 

Talk and listen; so after work, I am not on the phone much. 

What would you be doing if you were not a social worker? 

Probably still advocating and helping others. 

What is your favorite book? 

The Bible; it has many great stories and life principles.

What's the biggest take away that you have learned from being a social worker? 

I realize that there are common similarities among all people. We have our unique differences that make each of us special, but at the core we are all the same. We all have something good inside to share. We can learn something from everyone we interact with and embrace the beauty in that person.


Meet JFS Director Ken Bielecki:
 
Why did you go into social work?
After no longer having a desire to be a veterinarian, thanks mostly to college chemistry classes, I decided to try a few other majors. During my college years I worked for the Burdman Group and became passionate with assisting those with severe mental health issues. Social work was the natural fit for me.
 
Favorite color? Without a doubt, Orange. Always.
 
What are your hobbies? photography, drinking coffee, hikes, and biking
 
How long have you been a social worker? 20 years
 
What is rewarding about your current position?
Knowing that our agency has been a staple in the Mahoning Valley for several plus decades and that I am able to take part in continuing that legacy. I know we are making a positive difference in our community every day on many levels.
 
Favorite food?
Pizza and Indian Food
 
What is one thing you consistently do everyday?
To be thankful of at least one thing.
 
What would you be doing if you were not a social worker?
Photographer or something on the water.
 
Favorite book(s)?
I’ve always liked some of the older but simple books like The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Also, I recently reread The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and enjoy books that encourage self-improvement and reflection.
 
What's your biggest take away that you have learned from being a social worker?
That human nature can be resilient no matter our circumstances. Sometimes we can be resilient on our own and sometimes we need help. Striving to reach our potential, as human beings, leads to beautiful things.

 

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