For Sarah Naizer, UT Austin is part of a family legacy, but pursuing social work was a choice all her own. She will be graduating with her MSSW this May, but she is also a proud 2020 BSW alumnus of the School of Social Work.

Sarah was confident in her choice to pursue both UT Austin and social work. Her mind was made up and her goals were set—The University of Texas was the only school she applied to. But her journey as an Austin Longhorn started with a slight detour to the San Antonio campus of UT through the Coordinated Assistance Program (CAP). While initially discouraged, Sarah allowed this time to mold her and increase her perseverance and flexibility.

Sarah has known that she wanted to pursue social work since high school, when she recognized that her drive to help people through volunteering could be harnessed into the field of social work. Originally, she thought she would enjoy policy practice, but going through both the BSW and MSSW programs taught her about her own skills and goals. She also tackled her own inner struggles with anxiety and is proud of the progress she has made in managing her own responses.

As a BSW at SHSSW, Sarah was named a Distinguished College Scholar in the School of Social Work. As an MSSW student, her goal was to focus and dig into her academic studies. She is proud of these academic accomplishments as well as her personal growth through the program. She has become a more open and resilient person through her unexpected journey to her 2022 commencement.

Sarah has embraced her time in Austin, particularly its parks and natural spaces, and will miss breakfast tacos and Mozart’s coffee. Following graduation, Sarah will be moving to Seattle, Washington to be near her fiancé and pursue her licensure as a clinical social worker.

Looking ahead, she understands that acknowledging the reality of systemic oppression or a client’s difficult situation can be bleak. Sarah hopes to communicate hope to her clients and coworkers, that change is possible and that, even in the struggle, joy can still be found.

Congratulations to Sarah Naizer, MSSW ’22.