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2017 Social Work Introduction for the Next Generation Program (SWING)

SWING logoJune 25–27, 2017


Registration is now open!

Apply today!





Do you enjoy helping others? Are you the person your friends run to when they need someone to talk to? Do you find yourself stepping up when others are treated unfairly? If so, you may find yourself interested in a career as a social worker. We know that many high school students are not aware of what social workers do, which is why we are excited to offer an opportunity for you to learn!

The UNC School of Social Work is pleased to announce that our 4th Social Work Introduction for the Next Generation (SWING) program will be held at the School June 25–27, 2017. This free 3 day on-campus event is sponsored by the Health Affairs Pipeline Partnership Initiative, a UNC collaboration aimed at increasing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students in health careers.

We believe it is essential to encourage students to plan early for careers and be exposed to various disciplines. The aim of the SWING program is to stimulate students' interest in social work by allowing you to meet and learn first-hand about the work of Social Workers and opportunities in the field.

Who can apply?

We invite you to apply if you are an academically competitive junior from a historically underserved, low income, or first-generation background who is interested in learning more about social work. You must meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Interests that are congruent with the social work profession (ie: advocacy, counseling, service, leadership, desire to help others, etc)
  • Current high school Junior
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale)
  • Planning to attend college

What will we do?

Students will learn about career opportunities in the social work field as well as engage in hands-on experience volunteering in a local community non-profit. We hope that students will leave with a greater interest in pursuing a career in social work. Students will have the opportunity to stay on campus, learn tips for applying to college, complete a Strengths Quest assessment to identify their 5 most prominent personality traits and much more.

All participants will receive on-campus lodging, all meals, SAT study book and a certificate of completion for attending.

How does the application process work?

  1. Students must complete the online application at 2017 SWING application
  2. Students must request a nomination from a principal, teacher, counselor, or adviser to attend. This letter must be scanned and uploaded online in the application. Recommendation guidelines can be found here.

Students will be notified via email when they have been accepted to participate in the program. They will then receive additional instructions and a medical release form which must be returned prior to the start of the program.

What is the deadline to apply?

The application must be submitted by April 28, 2017 at 5pm.

What is social work?

Social work is a profession committed to the development of the full potential of individuals, groups and communities. The profession recognizes that there are personal and structural barriers that create and maintain distress, injustice and inequality and prevent the achievement of full potential. Some individuals, groups and communities are more disadvantaged by these barriers than others and they receive particular attention from the profession.

Social work confronts disadvantage and distress by striving to enable individuals, groups and communities to achieve power over resources, information, relationships and decision-making. Social work practice is the action taken by professional social workers in pursuit of the goal of empowerment.

Melbourne School of Health Sciences - Department of Social Work
"Becoming a social worker"
(accessed March 13, 2014)

What can I do as a social worker?

What can I do as a social worker?


Please contact Ben Balderas at or 919-843-6284 with questions.