It’s hard to believe that I graduated with my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree a little more than a week ago.


The big moment: receiving my master’s hood!

It took 2 years, more than 60 credit hours, and over 1,000 hours in the field to earn my degree. It wasn’t easy, but I had a lot of support along the way. My grandpa, aunt, and uncle all have advanced degrees. They showed me that the extra work pays off and always made sure I knew the value of education.


From left to right: my grandpa (who turns 90 in September!), my mom, my dad, Derek, me, my aunt, and my uncle.

My parents supported my dreams despite the fact that I was taking on debt and going into a difficult field where I will likely be underpaid and overworked. It means the world to me when I hear them proudly tell people that their daughter is a social worker.


My lovely parents.

My husband supported me each and everyday. Even though he is a busy, stressed out medical school student he always had time for my moments of panic over the workload, depressing stories from field, and angry rants about all the wrongs in the world. Whenever I needed it, he provided an optimistic perspective and reminded me why I chose social work in the first place.


My handsome husband Derek.

Finally, I could not have completed the degree without support from my amazing classmates. They challenged, inspired, and enlightened me. It is a privilege to know such hardworking, passionate people. Whenever I get frustrated with the way the world works I need to remember that there are wonderful people out there fighting to change the things for the better.


Some of my favorite ladies from school.

Particularly these two ladies. They are sweet, smart, down to earth, and never fail to make me laugh. My favorite memories from grad school involve cocktails and gallows humor. I will miss seeing them each week!


Thank you to everyone who supported me! Congratulations to my fellow 2014 graduates; we are finally social workers!

Ali Brown Pinkerton, MSW


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