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Antwan Nedd

M.S.W. Class of 2010

Prior to coming to Smith I worked in the field for two years as a therapeutic case manager for at risk children and their families. That experience taught me that there was a critical need for services, particularly within communities of color, as well as an under representation of African American males in the field. I also found that, in a blind attempt to help everyone, I was swiftly becoming burnt out. But I wanted nothing more than to bridge the gap between the communities of color and their access to care. Initially, I wasn't sure in what capacity I could do this, but I was certain it entailed going back to school. I looked at various programs and disciplines, and everything pointed towards social work.

I had graduated from Morehouse College, a historically Black college, and it was important for me to choose a diverse program with a strong reputation for academic excellence. After researching programs around the nation and applying to those along the east coast, I received several acceptance letters, but it was Smith College School for Social Work's commitment to professional clinical social work that most caught my attention. Unlike other programs, Smith allows students to obtain a rich and diverse clinical experience in many communities across the nation. And that has truly been the crux of my experience here at Smith.

My courses at Smith have been not only diverse in subject matter, but also grounded in theory and intellectually stimulating. The small class size promotes dialogue between students and faculty, but also allows faculty to be more accessible. My educational experience has not been limited to the classroom. I have consistently attended the lectures of various pioneers in the field of social work that are held every Monday night. I have also been actively involved in a few of the many student organizations on Smith's campus such as the Council for Students of Color, Curriculum Committee and Student Government.

I have found Smith's campus to be both resourceful and inviting. The school provides an atmosphere that has allowed me to create important relationships with both faculty and staff. In my experience, students arriving at Smith from destinations across the country, down the street or around the world, have the opportunity to feel at home.

As a third summer student, I've had the opportunity to not only share what I've learned inside the classroom, but to incorporate my own lived experiences in addition to my multiple identities. My internships have provided me the opportunity to work with individuals, couples and families across the developmental life stages in settings ranging from community based mental health to various medical clinics within the Veteran Affairs Administration. These experiences have continued to fuel my compassion for human potential, my fervor for equality and my desire to help create solutions that will transform communities into inclusive, diverse and equitable environments.