2019-2020 Birdwoman Scholar Spotlight: Whitney Baugher, MSW Candidate, San Diego State University

The Birdwoman Scholarship is a monetary grant awarded to Native American/Native Alaskan master’s or bachelor’s social work degree candidates in California. Birdwoman Scholarship recipients in the past have worked or volunteered in both public and nonprofit agency settings.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting each of our scholarship recipients for 2019.

Whitney Baugher

My name is Whitney Baugher and I am an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians. I am currently in my 1st year master’s in social work (MSW) program at San Diego State University (SDSU). I received my B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.

By watching my family members serve our tribe I have gained a desire to give back and serve the community that I grew up in. Since I was young, I always wanted to work in a helping profession and bridge the gaps I was seeing in systems, particularly the disparities in Tribal communities. I was also taught to give back to my tribe by serving on boards and committees and I currently serve on Cahuilla’s Economic Development Corporation Board, Cahuilla’s Youth and Family Committee and Cahuilla’s Scholarship Committee.

Before entering the full time MSW program, I spent time working in the field of suicide prevention and mental health education, working with youth all the way up to elders in reservation communities. Working with Native youth is something I am passionate about and am currently working on my PPS credential to work in school. I also spent time working in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and advocacy.

Currently, I serve on AFSP San Diego’s Board of Directors as the Treasurer and the Director of Intervention Prevention and Research for the chapter. I am also the President of the Indigenous Social Work Alliance at San Diego State University. I was brought into the social work filed through SERVE: Indigenous Social Workers for Change Project Coordinator, Tamara Strohauer, Title IV-E student and serve as one of two CalSWEC Title IV-E Summit Student Representatives from SDSU.

It is a great honor to receive the NASW Birdwoman Scholarship because of the prestige of the organization and the tremendous work that they are doing. This award will help me with my education and being able to do the best in my MSW Program. It is with programs, such as the Birdwoman scholarship that I am able to be in this program and I am fortunate to have this support. Achama!

Interested in applying for next year?
Applicants must be a member of NASW or join NASW to apply.
Graduate and undergraduate students must be enrolled in a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school of social work in California.

If applying as an undergraduate, you must be in your senior year with a declared social work major. If applying as a graduate student, you must be enrolled or accepted into a MSW program starting in the fall. Previous scholarship recipients are welcome to apply again with the understanding that applicants with no history of receiving this scholarship will have priority.

Application Deadline: October 31

Please apply here: http://www.naswca.org/?page=NativeAmericanApp
Email all attachments or inquiries to membership.naswca@socialworkers.org

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