With a desire to help others, the West Hempstead, New York, native has excelled in the School of Social Work.
by Efe Tanci
Many high school seniors agonize over which college to choose, what to major in and which career path to take. Not Sara Bonne. She knew she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
Growing up in West Hempstead, a stone’s throw from Garden City, New York, she also knew Adelphi was her college of choice. Then she decided to major in social work based on the strength of Adelphi’s program. She declared her major in Fall 2012, her freshman year, and from day one has dedicated herself to becoming a social worker.
That semester, she had an experience that further drove home the fact she’d made the right choices. After Superstorm Sandy hit, the School of Social Work organized a service trip to the hard-hit Long Island community of Long Beach. Bonne and her fellow students and faculty members came to the home of a woman whose photos of family, many of whom had passed away, had been damaged by floodwaters. The simple act of cleaning this woman’s treasured photos hit home for Bonne. “I will always remember that,” she said. “That is the type of impact I want to make, because it is the real impact that social workers make in this world.”
Over the course of her study at Adelphi, Bonne has taken full advantage of opportunities to put social work theory into practice. She has been an active member of Adelphi’s student organization, Social Work Action Gateway (SWAG), which organizes lectures, events and community service projects, such as bringing holiday toys and gifts to children in a family shelter in the Bronx for victims of domestic violence. This year she is president of SWAG, an experience that is enabling her to improve her leadership skills. During her junior year, she participated in Adelphi’s Riley Family Foundation Philanthropic Action for Challenging Times (PACT) program, in which students review grant proposals from nonprofit organizations and then make an award decision. She was inducted into the Phi Alpha, the social work honor society, and has participated in the Midnight Run, a yearly event in which social work students collect food, clothes and other donations to hand out to the homeless in New York City.
Bonne has also participated in internships; in this, her senior year, she is at Family & Children’s Charity Organization, which serves children between the ages of 5–18. She works one-on-one with children struggling with anxiety, depression and autism spectrum disorders. “Going in there, I felt very confident in the work that I was going to be able to do, even though this was my first time,” Bonne said. She credits her social work classes and professors, who go beyond training students to get good grades on tests by “really preparing you for the field.”
Bonne had earned enough credits in high school to be able to complete her B.S.W. in three years. As part of Adelphi’s Advanced M.S.W Standing program, she plans to then continue straight to graduate school, earning her master’s after one additional year of study.
Beyond that, Bonne looks to the future with confidence and plenty of passion.
“After graduation, I would consider working with adolescents. Besides that, I really want to do volunteer work on human trafficking. But whatever I would do, I want to stay in New York,” Bonne said. “New York has a lot of need.”
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