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My Fulfilling Job as a Social Worker

By Maria Irma Blanco

(Originally appeared in Good Jobs, Not Just Any Jobs!, March 2013)

JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo
The best job in my life was when I worked as a social worker in Bogotá, Colombia. I worked for a program that helped children who were abandoned to live in the street because their families were addicted to drugs. We invited the children to enter the program, which has 10 houses where they can live and learn a craft.

I loved my career because I was helping people. I picked up kids from the streets and invited them to our institution where they could live. We asked them, “What do you need? What is the solution to your problems?”

I personally attended to the children’s needs. For example, I got them medical and dental appointments. I helped find important docu¬ments, like birth certificates. And I helped the children deal with the most difficult question: “Where is your family?”

My salary was very good and had all the benefits of being a government employee. My co-workers were very nice, and we had good relationships. When I finished my eight-hour day, I felt satisfaction. I knew I was helping these children have a better future. And I was growing too and learning many things.

It was difficult and sad to have to leave that job because I came to the United States with my kids. I worked for 20 years at that hard job. I dedicated myself to it, and that fulfills me.

Maria Irma Blanco studies ESL at the Center for Immigrant Education and Training at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY. She has applied to college and intends to study occupational therapy.

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