Crystal photo      Crystal Catalina

Hometown:  Houston, TX

Undergraduate University & Major: University of Houston Downtown, Social Work

GCSW Degree Sought:  MSW (part-time, Advanced Standing)

Concentration: Clinical

Anticipated graduation date: Fall 2017

Classes completed/currently enrolled:
Currently enrolled in: Managing Human Service Organizations/Nonprofit Management and Advanced Social Policy Analysis.

Activities and/or Organizations:
– GCSW Student Ambassadors
– Supervisor & Direct Youth Volunteer at Montrose Grace Place (drop-in center for homeless youth)

– Institutional Grant for academic year 2015-2016

Why social work?
I feel strongly that social work gives my life purpose and meaning. I have always felt called into a life of service for others, but my professional journey began in the medical field. Prior to making the resolution that I needed to go back to school for an advanced degree, I provided emergency medical care on Houston ambulances for six years. Still, I felt something was missing and wanted to do more. An education in social work provides students with a broad scope of knowledge and skill, including clinical assessment and practice, mental health, politics, business administration, advocacy, & social reform. I am convinced that the foundation provided for me here at the GCSW will open the doors that I envision for my future. My objective is to eventually work as a medical social worker in pediatric oncology. Immediately after obtaining my degree, I hope to gain employment at either Texas Children’s Cancer Center or MD Anderson. My long-term goal is to design and operate a nonprofit, alternative medicine/holistic healing clinic for children with cancer and other chronic illnesses.