Emily G. (’07): Fighting slavery in Southern Asia
March 15, 2013
Emily G. (shortened for security reasons) found her calling at Evangel while studying Social Work and completing her practicum with the Salvation Army’s liaison for the Abolition of Human Trafficking. Her experience exposed the global issue of slavery that faces millions of men, women and children today.
The conviction to be involved in the fight against slavery led to a hotbed area in Southern Asia, where she works today.
Even while surrounded by difficult challenges, Emily describes cross-cultural living as one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences of her life. Some of her current projects include working on small-group curriculum for rehabilitating young girls looking to gain life skills and achieve personal growth.
An east coast native, Emily was heavily involved in Social Work Club at Evangel and remained in the Springfield area after graduation until her overseas voyage.
Find out more about Emily’s global travels and experiences, all with roots at Evangel.
What led you to come to Evangel?
Evangel has a fantastic social work program and I was excited about taking a little adventure away from the east coast. My admissions counselor was also incredibly helpful with pointing me toward scholarships and financial aid that allowed me to come.
How did you decide on your particular area of study?
My mom is a social worker. My dad is a psychotherapist. I guess it kind of runs in the family.
What were the highlights of your college experience?
The personal input, challenges and encouragement I received from professors were all highlights. The experience of living in the residence halls….what can I say? You have to live there to know all of the fun that is had! Also, meeting many amazing individuals and building strong relationships with people who are still my friends today. It’s fun to see how those relationships have developed into connections I see around the world now.
How did your program of study prepare you for your future career?
My professors in the social work program were incredible. When I came to Evangel, I was at a point of uncertainty with basically everything. My time at Evangel helped strengthen my sense of self, faith in God and ability to trust in and work with other people. In addition, it provided a fantastic, well-rounded education.
The program gave me a great foundation in general social work practice. It prepared me to be a globally-minded critical thinker. The skills I learned would be handy for any profession, but are especially helpful in my current role where I often refer back to things I learned in class.
What have been the highlights of your professional career so far?
It has been an amazing experience to live and serve abroad. I have had to learn how live and work effectively in a culture so different than my own. At the same time, I have enjoyed discovering some of the beautiful values that so many have perhaps lost sight of: family, hospitality and community. It is a joy to live with my global family!
What personal and career goals have you achieved after college?
I knew that I wanted to be involved in the fight against human slavery, but was unclear about how to go about doing that. I took a job at an architecture firm after graduation, and while working there I felt God leading me to serve in ministry.
It is amazing to have the opportunity to serve where I do now, and to look back to see how God was guiding me even when I felt only a vague sense of direction. I was really very naive in my approach at first, believing that this work would come easy because I felt so passionate about it.
I have found that the learning curve here is immense, and I have had my fair share of embarrassing learning moments! But it is in these times that my dreams and goals have developed and grown. My present goals are related to learning more about best practices and effective services I can offer to people.
Have you stayed connected to the Evangel community at all?
After college I lived in Springfield for two and a half years working with Project Rescue and visited campus to connect with students and professors often. I still connect with friends, professors and current Evangel students through social media and email.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your Evangel experience?
Cafeteria trays make great sleds! Don’t tell Mrs. Joan I told you that.