Social Work Month Student Spotlight: Brooklyn

Name: Brooklyn Hudnell

Degree & Graduation Year: Brooklyn will be receiving her Bachelor of Social Work degree in May of 2023. Brooklyn will be pursuing my school social work licensure post-graduation.

Can you share about your ECU and HHP experience thus far? 
My experience in the BSW program has been everything I could have hoped. I have been able to create connections with professors, other staff, and students that helped me grow throughout the program. The College of Health and Human Performance gives their students the resources to be able to build important social work skills that will make an impact post-graduation. I am, and always will be, grateful to be a pirate. East Carolina University is an amazing place to find yourself, it will always be home.

Tell us about your hobbies and involvement at ECU?
I have spent most of my time at ECU involved with the Bachelor of Social Work Student Association. I was the Treasurer of BSWSA from 2020-2021, as well as the President from 2021-2022. Throughout my time with BSWSA, I was able to participate in community outreach and service. Currently, I am one of the NASW-NC Student Liaison’s for the BSW program here at ECU.

Why do you want to enter the field of Social Work?
I want to enter the field of Social Work because I want to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. Whether it be an act of kindness, or finding the resources to change their life, that is the kind of person that I aspire to be.

There is a story that embodies why I want to enter the field of Social Work:
“One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, ‘Young man, what are you doing?’ The boy replied, ‘Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.’ The man laughed to himself and said, ‘Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!’ After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference to that one.”

What is your favorite aspect of social work?
My favorite aspect of social work is that my time is spent doing positive things for others. I love that I can give back to the community in ways that are different than other professions.

Tell us about your favorite social work course or professor(s)?
I loved all my social work courses, but if I had to pick, my favorite would be my Social Work Practice courses. My favorite professor is Dr. Yang. Dr. Yang is such a kind, caring, and knowledgeable person. She has given me insight into furthering my education as a social worker and has also been a supportive mentor throughout this past year in the BSW program. I look up to Dr. Yang, and I am thankful that she took time to be encouraging.

What kind of setting or future job do you hope to have upon graduation?
After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in school social work!

Tell us about your current internship/field placement or where you hope to intern?
My current internship is with Beaufort County Schools. I am mostly located at P.S. Jones Middle School. I have loved every minute of it since my first day of field. Most of my tasks include attendance meetings, interventions targeting food insecurity, and a MATCH group that focuses on coping with anxiety which takes place once a week!

This year’s theme for social work month is breaking barriers. How do you plan to use your education, experience, and passion for the field to help break barriers for those you work with and in the community?
I plan to use my education, my field placement experience, and my overall passion for social work to help break barriers by advocating for equitable resources and providing these resources to anyone in need that I come in-contact with, within my direct profession, and within my community.

Any advice for current or prospective social work students? 
To future or current students, enjoy your time here. You will learn so much about yourself throughout your time in the program, and it will change your life. Get involved and build relationships with other students and staff. Most importantly, take care of yourself!