As the president of Carthage’s Social Work Honors Society, Phi Alpha, Ashley Cedeno’s passion for her major is clear. Working toward a future career in social work, Ashley has had many meaningful experiences through Carthage’s exciting classes and her work with helpful staff.
Ashley has gone on two J-Term study tours, to Guatemala and Costa Rica. Both tours gave her new perspective, and strengthened her love and pride for her field. “Studying social work is a humbling experience and it helps you grow both intellectually and as a human being.”
“I’m not completely sure what I want to do after Carthage, but I do know that I would like to either work with children, as a school social worker or caseworker, or work on a macro-level to change and propose policies that benefit marginalized groups in society.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Professor Rebecca Hornung has had a major impact on my life and Carthage career. I have had two courses with her so far, and I have learned so much from her. I hope to one day be as compassionate and involved with the community as she is. She has an abundance of experiences working with marginalized groups in society, and her input in the classroom has really helped me learn and aspire to be the change in the world. Becki is an amazing person and a beautiful human being.”
“My favorite class at Carthage was a J-Term course on campus titled The Wire: Exploring Institutional Oppression and Social Change, with Professor Hornung. During this course, we watched a season of ‘The Wire‘ (HBO) and really dug deep into the issues that are still very present in our society today regarding racism and institutional oppression. I learned an extensive amount in this course and it completely changed how I view the world. I 100 percent recommend this course to absolutely anyone, no matter what major they are. I enjoyed this course so much and learned so much that I strongly believe it should be mandatory for every Carthage student because of how informative and beneficial it was for me.”
“My toughest class was my Chemistry class freshman year. I’m not a science person at all; so much so that I withdrew from the course and instead fulfilled my LAB credit on a J-Term study tour.”
Internships or on-campus employment
“I have had a couple of internships including one at KAFASI, or the Kenosha Area Family Aging Services Inc., where I assisted in an elderly home. It was essentially similar to a daycare and I helped organize games and movie days while mingling with the elderly. I also interned at the Kenosha Job Center, where I aided individuals who were unemployed to either fill out job applications or write resumes.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I have gone on two J-Term study tours. One year I went to Guatemala for a Spanish Immersion course, and I recently went to Costa Rica for an Ecology in the Rainforest course.”
“I received the Presidential Dahl Scholarship, which covers 75 percent of tuition, not including room and board. This scholarship has really been a blessing. I do not think I would still be attending Carthage if it weren’t for this scholarship and I’m so grateful.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise for me here at Carthage was how much I actually enjoy my classes. I came into college with an undecided major, but once I realized social work was perfect for me and started taking the courses, I fell in love even more with this career path. I didn’t expect to be this excited about my classes, but it was a very nice surprise.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“I think my 8-year-old self would be incredibly happy and excited about my career path. I’ve always had a passion for helping people. My 8 year-old-self always found ways to try to make people happy and help, even in the most minimal of ways.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Although social work is often a thankless career, it is so worth it. Studying social work is a humbling experience and it helps you grow both intellectually and as a human being. My advice is to build strong relationships with your peers and, most importantly, be the change you want to see in the world.”