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MSW student honored

News Feature

News & Events

July 17, 2014

Meagan Shapanus has been awarded the Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship, which honors the achievements of students pursuing a master’s degree in social work who have demonstrated a commitment American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations.

“The scholarship will be very helpful in financing my graduate education and ultimately this will enable me to pursue a social work job that I am passionate about,” said Ms. Shapanus, who in September will return for her second year in BSU’s MSW program. 

The scholarship, which is funded by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation, issues awards of up to $4,000, and is named for Consuelo Gosnell, a social worker who was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The honor especially resonates with Ms. Shapanus, who spent 2008-2009 living one mile from the U.S.-Mexican border in El Paso, with Ciudad Juarez on the other side. There she volunteered through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps from 2008-2009, working full time in a legal aid clinic assisting families completing immigration paperwork seeking family-based immigration visas, temporary protected status, humanitarian visas and political asylum. She also taught English and citizenship classes. 

From 2009-2013, Ms. Shapanus was a case worker at Lutheran Social Services in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program. She worked primarily with teenagers from Central America. A year ago, she left that job to come to BSU full time for her MSW. 

At BSU, she served as an intern at Latino Health Institute in Brockton, working with clinicians to provide therapeutic services to youth and their families in the home and community, many of her clients were from Latin America as well as Cape Verde. This summer, she is back at her old place of employment, Social Services in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, now working in the family resource department with the foster parents and teaching a healthy relationships and sexual education class to a group of teens in the program.

This fall, she will intern at YouthConnect, a program through the Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury.

Her career goal is to continue to work with the Latino community, particularly at-risk adolescents and immigrants, and to be able to connect them to a supportive adult, community project, or group that gives them the support they need to reach their goals. “To effectively reach and connect with this group I think it is absolutely necessary to recognize the many talents and interests they already have,” Ms. Shapanus said.  (University News)