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Erica Hernandez


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I am a Social Work student looking to further my education to support and advocate for vulnerable populations. My goals include becoming licensed in my state as a mental health clinician, and work with disadvantaged children and youth. I am a type 1 diabetic who is struggling with medical needs and now school financials. All I hope is to make my family and myself proud as a first Gen graduate student.


Salisbury University

Master's degree program
2023 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Social Work

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Social Work
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Social work

    • Dream career goals:

    • Case Manager

      Sheppard Pratt
      2022 – 20231 year
    Mental Health Empowerment Scholarship
    My name is Erica Hernandez. Mental health is the most important thing to me right now. I am at the point in my life where I feel that prioritizing mental health is the key to stable overall well-being. I am a social work graduate student, who is studying to become a mental health therapist. Part of the reason I went into the field is because I recognized an instability in my mental health, and I wanted to learn more for myself. As a student, I feel that my ability to learn is impacted if my mental health is not in a good state. Maintaining good mental health means that I can stay motivated, manage stress, and maintain a positive outlook. Ensuring I prioritize my mental health allows me to manage the demands of school, work, personal life, and my health as a type 1 diabetic. Not only is my physical health affected when my mental health is neglected, but it also leads to decreased academic performance, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of motivation. I must be able to prioritize my mental health to approach my studies with a clear mind and attitude. As a social work student, I work firsthand with clients whose mental health is in distress. I must prioritize my mental health as a student to ensure I can provide support to my clients. I must never pour from an empty cup. I am very passionate about advocating for other's mental health and well-being. I do so by facilitating educational workshops. As a school case manager, I work with youth to provide education on the importance of mental health. I discuss topics such as stress management, coping strategies, and the importance of self-care. The goal of these events is to inform participants that mental health should be prioritized and provide them with tools to support them. I also am big on encouraging open dialogue. I like to be transparent and honest about my mental health with community members. While maintaining boundaries of self-disclosure, I want to also be honest to help normalize the discussions and create a safe environment where others can feel comfortable to share their feelings as well. Lastly, my most treasured endeavor was facilitating a girl's empowerment group in my internship at a middle school. I worked with teen girls to build their self-esteem, help them make positive relationships, and empower them to overcome adversities. This group allowed me to advocate for youth, to start early and begin prioritizing themselves. This is something I am passionate about and I would like to continue facilitating groups or workshops like this in the future to spread the word that prioritizing one's mental health is essential. As i continue my graduate studies, I work towards reaching my goal of becoming licensed and opening my own private practice where I can make sure all my clients prioritize their mental health.
    Disability in Social Work Scholarship
    My name is Erica Hernandez. I am a first generation Salvadoran American student. I was pursuing my Bachelors in Social Work when my whole life changed in the span of a week. In my first semester as a transfer to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and spent my first week of class online in the ICU. This was a challenging time for me as I had to essentially learn what diabetes is and also discuss vulnerable situations clients in the social work world may have. I never realized that I too would be a vulnerable client. In my week in the ICU I met an amazing social worker who came and assisted me with connecting me to diabetes education classes and helped me figure out my insurance information, along with doctor information. It felt like she was my guiding light who empowered me and made me feel like I really could make a difference in the lives of people, regardless of my chronic condition. Now in the present day, I am a graduate student who is seeing individual clients, some who have chronic conditions. I also always try to empower my clients who face these adversities. Just like in social work, living with a chronic condition can lead to burn out. It has taken a toll on my mental health. This is when I remember to take care of myself first to then serve others. I must never pour from an empty cup. I prioritize myself and my health which is something that can be forgotten in the social work world. I observe many social workers who don't eat or take lunch breaks, they never leave time in between sessions, and they overwork themselves. I never want to be this stressed in my profession. I realize the work that we as social workers do is very important but we must never compromise our health. This is why I have hopes of one day opening my own private practice, and setting my own boundaries for work. I want to support those with chronic conditions, and make a difference in the lives of others without sacrificing my own. I am looking to get licensed as a mental health clinician and also incorporate case management in my private practice to support vulnerable communities. From managing high and low blood sugars during sessions, to keeping up with progress notes, I realize I have a lot on my plate. This might be true, however, I have the drive and willingness to commit to this field. I will always strive to do what it takes to support my clients, and give my 100% when I am feeling 100%.