Ben Turbeville knew a background in social work from South Carolina would give him the skills and knowledge he needs to turn his passion for helping others into a future profession. Students in the College of Social work combine classroom learning with research and hands-on experiences in real practice settings.
“The best part of being a student in the College of Social Work is that it’s a big enough program to provide plenty of resources and opportunities for you to advance your learning; but small enough that you’re able to build meaningful connections with faculty, staff and other students. We’re a big family that supports each other.”
Ben volunteers as an intake specialist at a local homeless shelter where he gets hand-on experience working directly with a vulnerable population. His daily responsibilities include bringing families in, hearing their stories and advising them on transitioning out of the shelter to thrive in society. Ben says the work he does isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.
“I’ve had a lot of people in my life influence me to be where I am today and guide me in the right direction. It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to return the favor and be that guiding voice for others.”
Ben plans to apply the skills he is learning at the homeless shelter to working as a clinical social worker in the future.
Ben’s heart for helping others isn’t limited to his time at the shelter. Working as a freshmen orientation leader, he serves as a mentor for new students, helping them adjust to their new life at the university. As a transfer student, Ben can relate to the challenges of adapting to a university, but he says once you find your place you will discover your purpose.
“My favorite thing about being an orientation leader is helping the new students find a home in South Carolina. The university is a big community so I love showing them that there really is a niche for everyone. Seeing them flourishing later in the year and knowing you helped them get there is extremely rewarding.”
I am South Carolina.