This year marks a milestone in SSWAA's history! SSWAA has entered our 30th year as an organization. Some say that 30 years of an organization marks a transition from youth into middle adulthood. SSWAA, like most organizations, has faced challenges, trials, and setbacks. But SSWAA has also seen incredible growth, increased membership and professional impact, and has faced challenges with resilience and dedication to the school social work profession.
Reflecting back lends a valuable perspective when charting the course forward. It is valuable to learn from challenges or setbacks in the past, be inspired by past successes, and use wisdom gleaned to set a vision for growth. SSWAA has set a theme for this year's conference with that sentiment in mind:
Pearls of our Legacy: Strength, Resilience, and Growth.
In the fall, SSWAA released a series of blogs called "Pearls of Wisdom." These blogs are written by founding members of SSWAA. Through these blogs, these founding members share their experiences that led up to and were impactful in the founding of SSWAA and the early work of the association. If you have not gotten a chance to read them, they are linked below.
It is truly a privilege to know these founding members personally and these milestones give us the opportunity to be grateful. For 30 years, leaders in the association have invested significant time, expertise, and energy into our national organization. They have left a legacy for those of us who follow.
Traditionally, the 30th Anniversary is known as the "pearl" anniversary, and the color associated with 30 years is green. Throughout this year, SSWAA is taking time to pause and celebrate our organization. SSWAA will enjoy sharing our history and will celebrate together at the 27th National School Social Work Conference, March 12-15, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. SSWAA will welcome many founders back to the conference event and host SSWAA's 30th Birthday bash, inviting all attendees to wear green and pearls in celebration!
We hope you will join in the celebration of SSWAA's impact and in gratefulness for the leadership and membership that help us along our journey. If you are interested in learning more about leadership opportunities with SSWAA and how you can make an impact, reach out! SSWAA welcomes you and would enjoy having you journey with us.
Happy 30th year! #SSWAA30years
Rebecca K. Oliver is the Executive Director of the School Social Work Association of America. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Mrs. Oliver served on the SSWAA Board of Directors and has over 20 years of experience working as a school social worker. In her current role with SSWAA, Rebecca is able to support school social workers across the nation and advocate for the profession about which she is so passionate. When not working, Rebecca enjoys traveling with her husband Jon, singing, running, reading, doing home improvements, and outdoor activities, including walks with her two dogs, Abby and Buddy.