Student Profile: Omar Leyson, 4th Year BASW Student at CSU Los Angeles


How did you become interested in pursuing social work?

After 26 years of faithful and dedicated service in the United States Navy, I was given the opportunity to go back to school. I decided to pursue social work because I am passionate about conditions that most of the fellow veterans have. I want to help veterans to improve their quality of life by proving them with highly needed resources among this community.


What area of social work are you most interested in? Why?

As I previously mentioned, my passion is to work with and for veterans; there are a lot of implications to working with this community. The biggest issues faced by this community are mental health, substance abuse and the consequence of this issues, homeless. The areas of social work that I want to work for the most is mental health related problems among the veteran population.


What made you decide to become an NASW member?

What made me become interested in becoming an NASW member is my desire to learn more about broader aspect of SW discipline outside from schoolwork. Looking forward to learning more about the profession’s latest and greatest information is what empowers me to keep renewing my membership.


What are your interests outside of social work?

One of my biggest passions outside of social work is to be proactive in my church activities (Catholic Charismatic Renewal Ministry). I congregate on a weekly basis and practice my faith on a daily basis. Another great interest outside of social work is providing and being there for my five-year-old daughter and my beloved wife.


What advice would you give to future social work students?

What I’m starting to learn right now is that social work is so broad and sometimes we tend to become tunneled vision that our areas of interest/expertise matter more than the other avenues of Social Work discipline. My advice to future work students is that they should treat our profession like a BIG family with cousins, etc. As one of the priest/professors at St John’s seminary mentioned…”we should always think GLOBALLY (macro) and act LOCALLY (micro capacity on what we are ABLE to do).