My name is Kyla Gilmore and I’m currently in my advance year of the Master of Social Work program at California State University Stanislaus. I’m originally from San Bernardino, but currently residing in the Central Valley. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology, with a minor in psychology at the University of California, Merced.
My interest in becoming a social worker is due to my own personal experiences that altered and affected my life. Being raised by a single parent in a poverty-stricken area and having a limited amount of resources growing up, I was exposed to the harsh reality of my environment. My community also experienced hardships ranging from lack of access to mental health services, mass incarceration and police brutality. This experience was life changing, as I witnessed the magnitude of injustices and low quality of life that some individuals experience on a daily basis.
The conditions and suppressions my community face should not be tolerated but they are. Moreover, it sparked a question in me: “What can I do to help make a difference?” This question led me to social work. My passion in life is to make a difference by advocating for the betterment of communities that face multiple latitudes of hardships.
Resisting the formerly hierarchical structure, I served as co-facilitator of the Master of Social Work Student Association from May 2018 to August 2019. I included and collaborated directly with student members through association processes and was primarily responsible for engaging the membership base through organized monthly meetings of the organization. I collaborate with members, other MSWSA facilitators, and faculty representatives to prepare for advocating, lobbying at lobby days and planning social justice related events. The main focus as co-facilitator was to support the implementation of proposed changes in a collaborative and inclusive way.
This experience has been beneficial in guiding my career aspirations to start my own non-profit. In which I would provide resources that will help underserved communities fight social injustices.
Kyla can be reached by email at Kgilmore.firstname.lastname@example.org.