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Changing Lives One Wallet At A Time

February 07, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Letter From Wynne Sandra Korr, Dean and Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Our Students come to the School of Social Work because they want to change the world and make it a better place -- one individual, family, or community at a time. Social Work is their calling. Many balance family commitments and work with studies. A few find they have to provide extensive support to a family member in crisis while they are in school. Those students often take out extra loans to survive.

Thanks to the generosity of Suze, at each graduation we are able to give an extraordinary gift to an MSW student who has a high GPA, is committed to the profession, has had a family caregiving responsibility, and has incrred significant student loans. The award is a surprise. These gifts have transformed the lives of these special students. Their letters to Suze reflect their gratitude and their commitment to serving others.

Thank you, Suze.

Your Dean,
Wynne Sandra Korr

Below are comments received from just some of the students who received Suze’s gracious gift.

“Ms. Orman’s gift was a true blessing.” –Regina ’09

“I am still working towards connecting and embedding myself in the community so that I can begin my private practice within the next 3 years!  I'm in the process of applying to be in the Emerging Community Leaders program to further help my plan to get myself out there.  Everything is going very well!” –Candyce ’09

“I continue to work at our business J&J Maupin Group Homes, Inc. serving developmentally-disabled adults in Decatur, Forsyth and Lincoln, IL.  With the recent closure of a state-operated developmental center, we have been able to accommodate new clients in our recently opened Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) in Decatur.  Pasta Alley, Inc. has also grown by providing 28 developmentally-disabled clients with an opportunity to continue to have meaningful employment.  I'd like to thank Ms. Orman again for her generosity as it helped me at a time when there was a dire crisis in state funding, our primary source of support for J & J Maupin Group Homes.” –Jennifer ’10

“I train staff at the agency that I work for and In October NASW and a local clinician sponsored the training so I had the opportunity to present it to other social workers and social service agencies in the community. That was a great experience and good practice. I hope to have more opportunities to present in the near future.”  –Elizabeth ’11

“I have been truly blessed by Suze’s gift. I was able to pay off my university loans in full, have made an affordable payment plan for the federal loans, and was blessed with the ability to move to Brookfield. I was able to enroll my niece (foster daughter) in Kindergarten where her older brother (whom she was separated from) attends school.  Since our move, she has been a MUCH happier child, her self-harming behaviors have diminished a great deal, and she actually enjoys school now that she does not need to go to daycare 9 hrs a day.  I have also been able to help their younger brother’s single mom, as I have been taking him every weekend while she works 12 hr shifts, as she does online classes during the week.  She has expressed gratitude towards me for being there for her, but I know that would not have been possible without Suze’s gift, as I would never have been able to make this big move.

Personally I am struggling to land a 9-5 job, despite having filled out hundreds of applications; because the offers I have had require night and/or weekend shifts which I am unavailable for given I'm a single foster parent, limited to daycare hours.  Nonetheless God is providing and I am keeping the faith that he will help me land a daytime job soon.  I know there is a reason and a purpose for everything, even if it's just wanting me to dedicate more TIME to these children while I can.  Regardless, Suze's gift has been a HUGE part of making this positive life change for me and EVERYONE around me happen.  I have found myself in a great community, become a part of a new church which is planning to launch a full time day care center this year, and have been approached to become a part of that if I want to.  I will walk in whatever direction I am led, even if that means taking a turn in my career goals.  I still desire to work in the expressive arts therapy arena, but I am learning to accept that I may have a gift, and a calling, different from that which I had planned or seen for my future.” –Jennifer ’12

“My ultimate goal is to be a criminal profiler and work with the prison system developing re-integration programs for offenders. I feel that if we work towards taking preventative measures we can decrease the overall crime rates in the U.S. If Suze Orman has any suggestions or words of advice I would love to hear them. I want to thank her again for all that she has done for me. It is nice to have a support system.” –Ashley ’12

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