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Jennifer Zurmuehlen


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Hi, my name is Jen and I am an aspiring social worker. I am an immigrant and multilingual, speaking German, Farsi, and some French. I earned the Bachelor of Social Work from King University with honors. I am currently in the process of earning the Master of Social Work degree. My dream is to become a licensed clinical social worker and to serve vulnerable populations including children, homeless, and elderly. In my free time I like to volunteer with the homeless, spend time with my kids, and be active outdoors.


California Baptist University

Master's degree program
2023 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Social Work

King University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Social Work


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems, General
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Bible/Biblical Studies
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Cognitive Science
    • Biopsychology
    • Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, General
    • Community Organization and Advocacy
    • Germanic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
    • Gerontology
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Medicine
    • Psychology, General
    • Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Individual & Family Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Clinical Social Work

    • Resident Coordinator

      Interfaith Community Services
      2020 – Present4 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Project Touch — Case Manager
      2022 – 2023

    Future Interests




    Cariloop’s Caregiver Scholarship
    Caregiving has been my identity since I was fifteen years old and became a parent. During my adolescent years, being a caregiver meant that I could not take part in the same activities as my peers. Instead, I cared for my daughter. I grew up in Germany with my grandparents. When I became pregnant, I had to stay at an orphanage until my daughter was born. After she was born, we moved into a mother-child facility. In high school, I was held back due to absences. My school was far and I traveled several hours on three different bus connections to attend. Often, I would miss school because my baby was sick, or I had to take her to doctor’s appointments. Shortly after my eighteenth birthday, my mother who lived in the United States asked us to come live with her. Being trilingual, I was able to earn the GED in the States within three months. Thereafter, I began taking college courses, while my mother took over the care of my daughter, which presented its own challenges. Having been a caretaker since adolescence, I experienced a loss of identity. I started spending more time with my peers and became an irresponsible young adult. I found myself in a toxic relationship that involved physical abuse and substance abuse, and eventually lead to homelessness. Several years later I recovered and learned who I was without another person attached to me. I returned to college at thirty years old to complete my goal for post-secondary education. My experiences with homelessness and trauma lead me to pursue social work. I also began working at a homeless shelter, where my daily duty involved caring for 49 shelter clients. During my sophomore year of college, my long-time boyfriend and I decided to get married. Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant with my son, sixteen years after having my daughter. Being a caretaker in my thirties was very different. Yet, I cried when I found out because I did not want to give up on my degree. I remember my supervisor at work encouraging me that it is possible to care for my family while completing college. I took her encouragement to heart and decided to work even harder. I started looking for online programs and mapped my schedule out by the hour. Three months after my son was born, I started a fast-track online program to complete the bachelor’s degree. I worked at night, took care of my son during the day, and filled every open minute with study time. Sleep was scarce and the days rolled by, but I even made time to volunteer. I inspired my family to join me in my volunteer efforts with the homeless by framing them as family events. Last year, my daughter joined me in the annual homeless count. We met with other volunteers at four in the morning and canvassed the town to interview people experiencing homelessness. I also took on a volunteer position as a case manager at a family shelter, where I helped guide single parents toward self-sufficiency. In December 2022, I graduated with honors, while being pregnant with my third child. This year I will start graduate school. By that time, I will have two little ones under two years old. I do not expect it to be easy, but I am only ten classes away from my goal and I refuse to give up. This scholarship will help offset the burden of tuition and books as I currently work to support my family and education.
    Christina Taylese Singh Memorial Scholarship
    Mental health care is healthcare. I firmly believe this statement. It rings especially true in a society like ours that runs on cortisol. Mental health challenges and traumatic experiences can have lasting effects on the physical health of individuals and their future generations. It is also the field of healthcare I am pursuing. Social work is trauma work, and I am an aspiring social worker. Initially, I was interested in psychology. I love the human mind and I am intrigued by trauma work. Having overcome street homelessness and experienced freedom from trauma, I wanted to help others find healing. I quickly learned that practicing psychologists need a doctorate degree, which was more time and resources than I could dedicate, while also providing for a family of my own. Thus, I chose to pursue the path of clinical licensure for social workers. Social workers have a passion for humanity and a heart for service. I have long felt this calling in my life, but it was solidified through my personal experience with a social worker, who gave me the tools to rebuild my life from rock bottom. For a period of three years, I was street homeless, exposed to the elements, and uncertain about the next meal. I have since returned to college, started a family, and become a homeowner. Despite financial challenges and domestic responsibilities, I work diligently at pursuing my passion through education and volunteer work. Since returning to college in 2019, I have completed every semester with honors while also caring for my children and working full-time. I also took on a volunteer position as a case manager and intake specialist at a family shelter program. Moreover, I work full-time at a low-barrier emergency shelter. The organization partners with an occupational therapy school. Every school semester, occupational therapy interns come to my program for their capstone projects. I have since learned that occupational therapy and social work overlap in many areas. Both professions operate within the medical field. Both professions have a broad scope of practice, and both professions help empower people. Occupational therapy often works with specific practical approaches like medication management or coping skills, while social work also considers systematic issues. Working together with occupational therapy interns helps provide our clients with better services as we fill each other’s gaps. Overall, we are all coworkers in healthcare. My dream is to become a clinical homeless outreach worker with the county and police departments. I want to work with a local PERT unit, which is the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team. PERT is comprised of police officers with behavioral health training and social workers. The unit responds to behavioral health crises, provides mediation, and connects individuals with psychiatric care. This scholarship would greatly help me offset some of my financial burden for tuition and books. It would also enable me to spend a little more time with my children and a little less time at work. Because children grow way too fast.
    Healthy Eating Scholarship
    The topic of food has been always been a great debate in my family of origin. I was born and raised in Germany. As a German-Persian I have been exposed to a variety of diverse foods and ethnic cuisines. Meals were usually at the center of family interactions. My paternal German side of the family approached food with frugality due to a mindset arising from the post-WWII era in which resources were scarce. Meals were created from locally available macronutrients and meat was only served on Sundays. My maternal Persian side of the family viewed food as a celebration. Dishes were colorfully decorated with saffron and spices, and meals were presented as feasts. Both sides of my family kept balanced diets with a variety of fruit and vegetables. I remember one of the first times I traveled to the United States and I was offered a 44-ounce slushie from a gas station. I had never consumed so much sugar and coloring in one drink. I also noticed that everything in the United States came in bigger sizes with more plastic wrapping and often had a chemical taste to it. The American diet also included large amounts of meat and some of the biggest steaks I have ever seen. Before I moved to the United States, I had never seen a person so obese that they needed an electric wheelchair. The food culture in the United States is very different from how I was raised. The focus of food is on quantity over quality. Many people eat their food on the go, in a car, and picked up from a drive-thru window. Much of the food is fried and has added sugar and extra salt. I witness the effects of this unhealthy food culture on a daily basis. I work at a homeless shelter and many of our residents are in a predicament due to their health. A large number of our residents live with type II diabetes, often missing toes or limbs and unable to work or provide for themselves. In a culture, where anything has a quick fix through some magic pill, a lot of sicknesses and resulting healthcare costs could be avoided with proper nutrition. Moreover, healthy eating habits are also important in the short term, as nutrition affects daily mood and mental health. Certain mental health conditions can be attributed to nutrient deficiencies. Personally, I feel more balanced and energized when I am mindful of my eating habits. Too much sugar causes me to crash later in the day and make unhealthy food choices. I feel at my best when I include a lot of water, fiber, leafy greens, lean protein, and naturally colorful items in my diet. It helps me stay full without feeling sluggish and I feel good about myself because I am taking care of my body. I also try to limit how much animal protein I eat. I believe our bodies were made to function and what we put in determines how well we function.
    Eitel Scholarship
    My name is Jen and I am a reborn Christian and a child of God. I am also a mother, a wife, a church member, a student, a polyglot, a shelter worker, and an aspiring social worker. I recently graduated from King University with the Bachelor of Social Work with honors. This August I will continue at California Baptist University with the advanced standing Master of Social Work program. I returned to college in 2019 with the dream of becoming a social worker. My goal is to gain clinical licensure and to serve vulnerable populations. I have long felt this calling in my life, but it was solidified through my personal experience with a social worker, who gave me the tools to rebuild my life from rock bottom. For three years, I was street homeless. As an unbeliever, I remember half-heartedly praying to God in total desperation for a life worth living. Sometime after this prayer, opportunities presented themselves with a way out. I entered a Christian recovery program, where I learned scripture, addressed root causes, and healed from my past. At the program, I was part of a women’s book study, where we read a book called “Praying for your Elephant.” The idea was to assault heaven with prayer and to record these prayers. My big elephant prayer included returning to college, for my husband to become sober and to be saved, and to have a boy child. I am not sure where the prayer about the boy child came from. It felt like a premonition or a whisper. I kept hearing the name Samuel. At the time, I had not read the Book of Samuel, nor did I know the meaning of the name. When I looked it up, I felt shivers. Samuel means “I asked God for him.” A few years passed, my husband became a reborn Christian and completely turned his life around. I returned to college and one day I found out I was pregnant. When the gender was revealed as male, I knew the child was my Samuel. The one God had promised me. The story of my Samuel opened my eyes and gave me a clear vision. I know that God brought me this far for a reason. I have a purpose in completing graduate school and working as a clinical homeless outreach worker. Nevertheless, maintaining a home and a family has its challenges. Especially, because both my husband and I have to work fulltime at minimum wage to provide for our children. Despite financial challenges and domestic responsibilities, I work diligently at pursuing my dream through education and volunteer work. The Eitel Scholarship would help offset the financial burden of tuition and books. It would enable me to spend a little more time with my children instead of working for tuition.