Social workers are hard to define. To help people understand social workers, the month of March has been designated National Social Work month. According to the National Association of Social Workers, these workers stand up for millions of people every day. They work with people who are experiencing illnesses and mental health issues, children and families in need.
This year, Westmoreland County Public Schools, salutes the efforts of Jacquelynne Maupin, the first WMLCPS social worker. Ms. Maupin came to the county schools this year as a new graduate of Longwood University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. She worked at the Department of Social Services in Essex County as an intern doing Child Protective Services and assisting at the MPNN-Community Services Board doing Therapeutic Day Treatment. During her college years at Longwood University, Ms. Maupin volunteered in the local areas.
A native of Warsaw, Virginia, Jacquelynne graduated from Rappahannock High School. She was a cheerleader, and played soccer and little league softball. Jacquelynne also cheered in college and was the president of a hip hop dance team at Longwood University. Last year, she had the opportunity to travel with her cousin to assist in an adoption in China. “Traveling and being on the go is another passion of mine,” she states. “I love cultures and learning how people work and live.”
Jacquelynne has a clear definition of her role at WMLCPS. “The main goal of my role is to promote the students, parents, faculty, and staff with resources and services they need in areas such as counseling, food, community based organizations and more. Another huge goal is attendance. I work closely with the administration to assist in parent conferences and remind them that attendance is not an option; it is the law. Too many days out and you can suffer consequences, such as retention or court.”
She notes that “the number of students that I work with varies, but I will meet with any student at any time. I work closely with some of the administration to meet the needs of students more directly.” When asked if this position was what she anticipated, Jacquelynne firmly stated,” Goodness, this position is all that I imagined, and more. I love working with the students and making positive connections within the community. I learn and grow daily, as should any person.”
Satisfaction is an important part of any educational position. Jacquelynne has already experienced that this year. “I was helping a family with getting food and they were so thankful and shared with me a small piece of their past and their super bright future. Every time I see that student they always have the biggest smile and it’s so heartwarming to know that I was able to help a family. I am so proud of that student and that Mom!”
Each student need is different. “I have always had a passion for working with youth and underprivileged children, giving them a voice and a chance where others may overlook them. I prepare for each student or group somewhat similar to a teacher. I create a ‘lesson plan.’ However, I give a lot of leeway to the group as to what direction we go in. I want our group sessions to be beneficial to the student so if it’s something on topic and appropriate, I am more than happy to allow a direction change.”
Jacquelynne grew up in a caring environment. Her father is a minister; “so I was raised in a Christian home and truly have a heart to serve others. I can give students the voice they did not think they had and a sense of hope for the future. My biggest challenge has been being WMLCPS’s first social worker. I feel that I have made great progress, though, and want nothing more than to provide resources and services to our school and community. I plan to continue working with children and youth; giving them what Walt Disney once said,” is a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.”
Westmoreland County Public Schools salutes the work of its social worker, Jacquelynne Maupin, and all those who work to make the lives of its students better.