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Fulfilling Field Experience For Social Work and Spanish Double Major Helped Change Lives

Rachel Ligon graduated from Seton Hill in 2017 with a double major in Social Work and Spanish. After studying abroad in Chile her senior year, she completed her 500-hour Social Work field placement internship at Casa San José, a resource center located outside of Pittsburgh for Latino immigrants.  Rachel worked alongside her supervisor, Sister Janice, to assist immigrants who were living in Westmoreland County. She conducted several interviews with the immigrants as well as with social service professionals in the area. After translating the interviews from Spanish to English, she conducted qualitative analyses in order to identify reappearing themes within the interviews. Some common themes she discovered throughout the interviews were the desire for more education, more financial success, and the fear of deportation. By conducting these analyses, Rachel was able to devise possible services that the immigrants would benefit from, such as interpretation services or connections to community resources.

Rachel says she is thankful for her experience at Seton Hill and the Social Work Program. She insists she could not have completed this project without the help of her advisor, Dr. Droppa: "I think I can speak for everyone who has gone through the Social Work program at Seton Hill in saying that Dr. Droppa is such an uplifting force in so many people's lives. He was one of the main reasons I achieved so much during my time at Seton Hill. He believes in his students and pushes you to achieve more than you thought possible."

Rachel is currently living in Tempe, Arizona, where she is working with older adults as a caregiver. "Completing this study was such an awesome experience," Rachel recalls.

"My experiences have helped me so much, especially in this part of the country where there is a high Latino population. Most of the clients I work with are Latino, so it’s so awesome to be able to understand their culture and connect with them through their native language. No matter where I end up in life, I know that I will always take these experiences with me and will be a social worker at heart."

Learn more about Seton Hill University's Social Work and Spanish Programs.