“I think South Carolina has so many amazing leaders,” says Aubrey L. Sejuit, president of the NASW South Carolina Chapter and recently elected secretary of the NASW Council of Chapter Presidents.
“We have some of the most inspiring people (in South Carolina). When I had the opportunity to be around them, it inspired me to do something more with myself,” she said.
“I wanted to get involved with South Carolina in general, and in my profession.”
Sejuit, PhD, LISW-CP, LCAS, MEd, GCDF, assistant professor of social work and part-time counselor at Limestone University in Gaffney, S.C., moved to the state in 2013 to earn a PhD in counselor education and supervision at the University of South Carolina.
Sejuit joined the U.S. Army Reserve at 17 and went to basic training between her junior and senior years of high school. When the terrorist attacks occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, she was 18. She started college in the fall of 2002, but was pulled out and called to serve in the Iraq War not long after.
Back home, she found work as a caseworker at children and youth services in Pennsylvania, where she discovered many of her co-workers had social work degrees. At the same time, she was finishing her master’s degree in teaching and curriculum at Penn State. She earned that degree and then moved to Syracuse, N.Y., with her husband, who wanted to attend Syracuse University. She finished her MSW at Syracuse University in 2012.
When asked why it’s vital for NASW members to volunteer with their professional association, she says social workers need to advocate for themselves.
“We do such a great job of advocating for other people, and I love that, but we need to advocate for ourselves and push the narrative of self-care. Part of that is getting involved in your professional organization and networking with those people who are like-minded.”