Social Work Major Aminah Johnson

Meet Aminah Johnson

Social Work, 2020

"The [social work] classes I have taken made me more self-aware – my values, bias, and beliefs… it is important to have self-awareness before you enter a profession that will expose you to a lot of diversity."

Aminah began at GMercyU as a nursing major but decided to transfer to Social Work her sophomore year.

“Something in me changed,” she explained. “I always knew that I wanted a career that involved helping others in need. Instead of helping people medically, I found a career that would allow me to do so socially, mentally, economically, and emotionally.”

Since she has found her calling, Aminah has thrived as a GMercyU Social Work major. She will be inducted into the Social Work Honor Society this year, and she is currently completing a 400-hour internship with the Episcopal Community Services in Philadelphia. She has also completed a need assessment project for Laurel House, a domestic violence agency in Montgomery County. Aminah and her project partners were honored to present their Laurel House work at the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Conference (for the Pennsylvania chapter), where they also had the opportunity to network with industry professionals.

In addition to the field experience she’s gained, Aminah has valued her coursework. “One class that really stood out to me – and I feel is so important in today’s society – is Difference and Diversity,” she said.

“It taught me about being culturally competent, cultural humility, and different cultures of my peers in the classroom. We’ve had important discussions about social justice, injustices today, stereotypes, and prejudices,” Aminah said. “Don’t get me wrong, everything you learn about in the social work profession is important, but being aware of differences and diversities will be a part of your everyday life as a social worker, especially if you have direct contact with clients.”

Her social work courses have emphasized the importance of active listening and understanding the code of ethics, and they have honed skills such as counseling and communication. They have also required her to focus her attention inward.

“The classes I have taken made me more self-aware – my values, bias, and beliefs. In order to become a social worker, it is important to have self-awareness before you enter a profession that will expose you to a lot of diversity,” Aminah said.

Along the way, Aminah has appreciated the mentorship offered by her social work professors, Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education Janice Nuss, MSW, LCSW and Program Director Wade Luquet, PhD.

“Janice Nuss is so supportive and down to earth, she made this journey easy. She is serious about her role as an educator, but she is there for us when we need her, whether we need to talk or need advice,” Aminah said. “Dr. Luquet always does what’s best for his students. He started a social work simulation program, with real social workers for us to train and test our skills, which was very helpful. I know that when May 2020 comes, I will be ready to get out there to be the best social worker I can be.”

After graduation, Aminah plans to pursue a master’s degree after getting settled in the workforce. She hopes to secure a job with an agency, working with children or the elderly.

“The good thing about social work is that there are so many job opportunities to explore,” she said.