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2012 Carl A. Scott Book Scholarship Winners

Roopa Raman

Roopa Raman is currently an MSW student at New York University. She is also a clinical social work intern at Bronx Community College Psychological Services. Her passion for promoting equity and social justice for marginalized communities has been demonstrated through exceptional community advocacy and clinical skills. She excels at building relationships with diverse underserved populations. Ms. Raman is noted for her self-awareness, drive, and compassion and is described as a motivated learner, strong writer, and academician.

Ms. Raman’s experience includes acting as a community organizer, advocate, and case manager/clinician in mental health and substance abuse. Previously she worked as a clinical social work intern at the Lower East Side Service Center in New York City. In the Los Angeles area Ms. Raman worked at Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and Joint Employer Education Fund where she served as a career counselor, at UNITE HERE Local 52 as a community organizer, and at UNITE HERE Local 11 as a case manager and community organizer. During her time at UNITE HERE Local 11 Ms. Raman learned Spanish to better communicate with her client base and led advocacy efforts to gain family health care benefits for 350 low income Latino service workers. Her successful efforts contributed to better quality services and benefits.

Ms. Raman’s career goal is to promote social justice on an international level by extending culturally competent care to underserved, underrepresented communities abroad. She hopes to work with community leaders to address challenges in providing mental health services to vulnerable populations.

Jessica Rodriguez

Jessica Rodriguez is an MSW student at Rutgers University. She is also an intern at PROCEED, Inc., a nonprofit agency in Elizabeth, NJ, where she provides bilingual (English/Spanish) counseling services to clients in the substance abuse treatment program. She has also acted as a family resource specialist there and has helped other case managers develop strategies for challenges they have encountered in their cases. Ms. Rodriguez’s exemplary service to clients and families is an indication of her commitment to empowering people from diverse backgrounds and overcoming obstacles in the social service system to meet their needs. She is noted for her strong academic performance, writing ability, and for being a thoughtful/reflective learner with interdisciplinary reach. Ms. Rodriguez is described as industrious in attaining her goals and focused on increasing her knowledge base of the field.

Ms. Rodriguez has social work experience in the United States as well as Central America, including coordinating service learning projects through the nongovernmental organization Centro de Idiomas, and from her study abroad in Nicaragua, where she volunteered at a maternal house. She has also worked at the Cornell Public Service Center and with the Committee on US.-Latin Relations, both in Ithaca, NY. Currently, as a member of the Out Front Mentorship Program, she serves as a peer mentor for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/intersexed/questioning (LGBTIQ) students at Rutgers-Newark University Campus, aiming to continue creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for LGBTIQ students on the campus.

Ms. Rodriguez’s career goal is to become a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor and licensed clinical social worker to offer bilingual treatment to mental health and substance abuse clients, addressing their needs and advocating for their equal access to needed resources.