Social work is normally seen as a volunteer job, something you do in your off-time and you don’t expect to be paid for. But while many organisations and initiatives are fully staffed by volunteers and operating on a non-profit model, there is a lot to be said for social work as a career as well.
Especially during “droughts” like the Covid-19 pandemic where volunteer contributions dwindled due to fears and unrest, government organisations involved in grassroots activity, co-ops and community centres have continued to provide vital services helping our people. They also served as a place for people to begin their giving journeys, directing donors and volunteers to the appropriate channels and beneficiaries.
If this is something that inspires you, you would be well-served by checking out the related scholarships available. And as for why, read on.
Making a Difference
The most compelling argument for a social service scholarship is the fact that you will have a decisive impact on other’s lives.
In fact, many scholars chose a career in helping others as a result of experiences during volunteering stints and community involvement programmes. They were touched at how their efforts made the world a better place, and decided to continue on that path with a scholarship.
The fact that you will be the positive change in another’s world is the greatest reward of social work.
Many Majors, Many Contributions
Social work is a many-faceted field, and beneficiaries come from all walks of life. Hence, social service scholars are expected to be equally broad-minded and have working knowledge of a variety of issues and people.
This translates to greater freedom of choice in your degree if you take up a social service scholarship. Examples include:
· SNCF Co-op Scholars are leaders on a social mission working with co-operatives, which are sustainable regulated social enterprises. The scholarship accepts applicants from a wide range of studies, including Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Information Technology, Mass Communications/Communications & New Media, and Statistics.
· Get deep into vitalising a specific area such as sports, youth engagement or active aging with the PA Scholarship. With its emphasis on grassroots-level activity, this organisation is looking for leaders with a heart for others. It accepts applications from most disciplines, except medicine, dentistry and architecture.
· The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is about shaping Singapore’s development as a society. With a broader perspective, it grows social support, family cohesion and corporate support for Singapore. Similarly, MSF Scholars can study a range of majors such as Social Work, Psychology and Political Science (and if what you’re studying doesn’t fit, you can always try anyway).
Many Friends for the Making
If you enjoy interacting with people, social work could be the place for you. As any social service professional will attest to, this is a field where a huge amount of human interaction is the norm.
Throughout your scholarship experience, you will meet many individuals – people in your university, your organisation-sponsored trips and placements, and finally, your colleagues and beneficiaries themselves. Each of these people come from different walks of life with different perspectives. Any of them could end up being useful future contacts whom you can rely on in the future. Also, social work gets you out of your comfort zone by forcing you to interact with others from very different backgrounds.
Your experiences with these people – both the good and the bad – will help you broaden your worldview as you see the world as they do.
A Good Place to Dedicate Yourself
Social service professionals, characterised by their good hearts, often face choice paralysis. There are so many needy people, so many worthy causes, and so much to do to make this world a better place. The mere choice of where to devote your time can become overwhelming, and this has led social workers to despair and loneliness.
By taking up a scholarship, you will be bonded to an organisation after graduation and hence have an immediate job to default to. Not only that, you will be guaranteed that your work will benefit others and be in the service of the public good – sparing you the agony of poring through an NGO’s financial statements or press releases to find out if they’re a good fit.
And what happens if you find something else you want to dedicate yourself to? The good news is, most sponsoring organisations are flexible and open. They’ll want your ideas on how to help others, or what kind of benefits particular groups would enjoy.
If you want to do good for yourself and the public, a scholarship in the social service profession might be your calling. Check Brightsparks!
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