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MSW student awarded Career Development Grant from AAUW

Sabrina Basquez, an MSW student at the UNC School of Social Work, has been awarded a $12,000 Career Development Grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a national grassroots organization that works to improve the lives of millions of women by supporting their education.

Basquez, who is completing her final year of study in the School’s 3-year Triangle Program, is among 259 recipients from across the globe to receive an AAUW award, which will help to pay for her tuition and other living expenses.

“I feel honored to have been selected for the AAUW grant out of so many applicants,” Basquez said. “The funds will help me on a personal level, of course, but they will also support the vision that I proposed in my application, and that is a very validating feeling.”

Basquez has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has served vulnerable populations for nearly a decade. As a social worker, she is interested in the concept of compassion fatigue, especially how to treat and advocate for caregivers who work long hours, are exposed to secondary traumatic stress and, as result, are at risk for burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I think what is most important to me, is that I am able to work both with individuals and on the macro level,” Basquez said. “For example, I am currently an intern at the UNC-G Student Counseling Center. I love that their therapists all seem to have projects in their scope of work. I could see myself collaborating with student health, facilitating workshops and creating materials of both students and staff on how to manage and recover from burn-out and secondary traumatic stress.”

Altogether, the AAUW will award $4 million this academic year in fellowships and grants to enable recipients to develop the skills and experience to excel in their fields and lead innovative community projects that empower women and girls. Over the past 130 years, the organization has provided more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 women from more than 145 countries.

“AAUW fellows and grantees have contributed so much to society and to the world at large,” said Kim Churches, the chief executive officer of AAUW. “These trailblazers are breaking the mold in nontraditional fields and redefining what leadership looks like. AAUW is proud to support them with the resources they need to excel.”