Maria Rodriguez ’13, M.S.W. ’14 is dedicated to brightening the lives of older adults.
by Efe Tanci“Even a smile given to them can brighten their day.” —Maria Rodriguez ’13, M.S.W. ’14
Ghanaian author Lailah Gifty Akita once said: “The adult were once young. The young have not yet attained adulthood. The young must learn to appreciate the wisdom of elderly people and learn from their experiences.” Maria Rodriguez ’13, M.S.W. ’14 embodies this message: She has dedicated herself to serving this population, while showing her clients an appreciation for their role in society.
Rodriguez has worked with older adults for 25 years. She is currently the Hispanic Program coordinator at the Adult Day Health Care Program at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, which provides registrants with medical, nursing and rehabilitative services in order to enable them to continue to age in place within their communities. She provides support and guidance to clients and their families, organizes adult day care programs and translates to and from Spanish.
Although she had plenty of work experience, she knew she needed a bachelor’s degree to advance her career. That was the point where Rodriguez’s path crossed with Adelphi University.
“One day I had seen an ad about Adelphi and the School of Social Work. I wanted to get a social work degree—that was my passion—and I applied to Adelphi.”
It wasn’t easy for Rodriguez to earn her degrees as a full-time employee. Luckily, the option to take evening classes at the Hauppauge Education and Conference Center and do her internships at night enabled her to achieve her goal of earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“I personally have passion for working with this population,” she said, referring to her older adult clients. “When I work with them, it brings my spirits up. I’m able to make a difference on a daily basis with them. That’s why I wanted to do it. Even a smile given to them can brighten their day.”
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