Master’s student Moravia de la O is one of the recipients of the NASW Foundation’s 2017-2018 Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial MSW Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to social work students who have demonstrated a commitment to working with American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations.
“As the granddaughter of a former migrant farm worker and an immigrant from Mexico myself, I feel a responsibility to help solve the social injustices that afflict Latin American communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border,” de la O said.
De la O is completing a dual degree in social work and Latin American studies, and is a St. David’s Foundation Bilingual Scholar. She is actively engaged with the Latino community in Austin: she has served as an interpreter in community meetings organized by the Austin Sanctuary Network, has volunteered for immigration rights clinics, and served as a volunteer paralegal working with women in an immigration detention center. She has completed her first social work field placement with the Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP) at Refugee Services of Texas.
“My hope is to become a mental health specialist to serve the needs of the Latino population, following in the footsteps of practitioners in the rich tradition of psychosocial accompaniment for victims of human rights abuses in Latin America,” de la O said. “This award will go a long way in supporting my efforts to continue building the skills and experience in trauma-informed mental health care that I need.”
The Gosnell Scholarships were established through a bequest of Consuelo Gosnell, a social work practitioner who was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and died in Texas in 1987. Gosnell was a champion of civil and human rights and worked diligently to improve conditions for critically under served American Indians and Latinos in the Southwest. Gosnell practiced for many years in federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.