A Nebraska Wesleyan social work student has been awarded a national scholarship honoring her service, scholarship and leadership in her academic field.
Senior Brooke Schipporeit of Merna has received the National Phi Alpha Honorary Individual Scholarship. Each year the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors and the Phi Alpha Honorary Society present three scholarships to social work undergraduates across the country.
Schipporeit received the top scholarship, which provides $2,500 to use towards her education. She will also present at the organization’s annual conference in South Carolina in March. She will join NWU social work professors Lisa Borchardt and Jeff Mohr at the conference.
Schipporeit first became interested in social work after participating in a week-long inner-city mission trip to St. Louis, Mo., when she was in high school. Her experience there with underprivileged youth led her to pursue a social work degree.
“I remember thinking I could do something of the sort for the rest of my life and absolutely love it,” she said.
She is particularly interested in poverty issues as well as people with physical, mental and developmental disabilities. Through her studies at Nebraska Wesleyan she has also discovered an interest in social policy. Next semester she will complete her practicum by working with NWU alumna Kate Bolz, a newly-elected state senator who works for the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest.
Following her graduation in May, Schipporeit hopes to work abroad on social justice issues and eventually pursue her Master’s of Social Work degree.