Student takes social work passion to the next level

While many students may be hurried to wrap up classes for the fall semester so that they can relax and enjoy the holidays, LaNette Heselton, junior social work student, took the initiative to contact a local shelter and spread some holiday cheer after her fall classes ended.

Heselton, reached out to Lydia’s House, a shelter for abused women that has been in operation in the St. Louis area for more than 15 years.

After Heselton made initial contact with the shelter, she was able to get her church onboard and the donations garnered through her efforts were substantial.

Heselton collected a considerable amount of toys, toiletries, and other items along with monetary donations.

Hsin-Hsin Huang, assistant professor of social work, who taught Heselton in an introductory social work course, explained that efforts such as those made by Heselton are of particular importance for several reasons.

“There are so many needs. We cannot possibly meet all of them,” said Huang. “But instead of being paralyzed or becoming numbed by all the needs, we do one thing at a time to help one person or one family at a time. Though we cannot help everybody, we can at least help somebody.”

Heselton thanked the social work educator for inspiring her to take her social work passion to the next level.

“As an educator, I see my role as to inspire, encourage, and support,” said Huang. “I speak of needs and opportunities to serve in my classes.  I see myself as a seed sower – never knowing where a seed may take root.  And here’s an example of a seed spouting.”

According to Huang, social work students at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s level are constantly engaged in charitable activities throughout the school year.

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