Student Spotlight: Emily Padilla, MSW Candidate 2019, University of California, Los Angeles

How did you become interested in pursuing social work?

When I started working in low-income schools in Spokane, WA, my students taught me about resiliency and perseverance. I really bonded with them and wanted to be an ally and advocate. I’ve been a social worker ever since.

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

Clinical social work with a focus on attachment work. I see attachment styles as a vital factor in future relational styles. The idea that attachment ruptures can be repaired reflects how I see individuals and families. Attachment theory is one of the reasons social work is important to me in general, to see how we relate to each other and larger systems.

What made you decide to become an NASW member?

My connection to NASW was through UCLA’s Lobby Days planning committee. I volunteered and fell in love. My mentors and team have encouraged me to become more involved. I see the value in so many ways for students—it is an amazing opportunity for professional networking, support and training.

What are your interests outside of social work?

I am a movie and theater buff who loves playing ukelele, drinking tea, and going to the beach.

What advice would you give to future social work students?

Always express gratitude and let your population lead you.

Submitted by Amanda Silva, NASW-CA Student Director South

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