Meet Our MSW Student Representative:
Sierra Perez is currently pursuing her master’s degree at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s School of Social Work, with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership (CAL) and participation in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Nonprofit Studies through the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. She is continuing her passion to help families via her final field placement at the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA) at UT’s Center for Social Work Research, where she helps conduct research and promote interdisciplinary collaboration.
Since first becoming involved with community and public service in high school, Sierra has gained more than 7 years of experience working within various schools, nonprofit agencies, and AmeriCorps programs throughout the Central Texas area, including College Forward, Front Steps’ Keep Austin Housed program, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. In each of these roles, Sierra has strived to better improve programing and services to serve some of our nation’s most vulnerable children and families – from low-income high school students wishing to pursue higher education to families looking for support during their fight against cancer. Sierra is incredibly passionate about helping children and families in any manner possible, as she was once helped by her own community when she experienced the loss of her mother to breast cancer and then later became a survivor of family violence.
Sierra remains actively involved in her social work community by serving as a leader within student organizations, including the Social Justice Action Coalition (SJAC), Social Workers Enriching Latino Leadership (SWELL), the Dean’s Ambassadors, and, more recently, as a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. She believes that serving as a student leader is an integral part of any student’s undergraduate and graduate school experience, as well as serving as a mentor to other students. In keeping with that, Sierra has also actively pursued opportunities to mentor other first-generation and low-income college students who are considering a graduate education through UT’s IE Pre-Graduate School Internship Program. She feels incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to continue serving as a student leader in her role as MSW Student Representative of SSWAA and acting as the voice of growing school social work professionals. It is her hope that she will also be able to better help and guide other students along their path to becoming school social work professionals. She looks forward to serving other students and SSWAA members, and meeting you all at the National School Social Work Conference in April!