A proud Buffalo native, Shawnte Wilson, MSW '12 decided to explore her options for a career in the helping professions, turning to the UBSSW subsequent to her enlightening professional experience in an education and human services role. “After graduating with a Bachelor’s in English/Spanish from Canisius College, I took a job at an agency working with adults with learning disabilities,” reflects Wilson. “It was while working here that I realized I could have a professional career helping people. This made me very happy because my parents had always equipped me with strong values regarding helping others. Not only was I raised doing this, it’s also something I enjoy.”
With a concentration in community social work and desire to work with individuals of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, particularly refugees and immigrants, the UBSSW’s trauma-informed human rights perspective spoke to Wilson’s intuitiveness when it comes to determining the most effective way to assist others. Now a social work professional, she continues to advocate for this compassionate approach in the field: “Many people look at the clients I work with and wonder what’s wrong with them, but the UBSSW has taught me to ask instead what has happened to them. As a result, I am able to better equip my staff during trainings and to personally refocus myself and others during a crisis.”
Wilson is currently a Senior Residential Supervisor at People, Inc. “I really enjoy my job,” she beams. “It’s a very home-like atmosphere and I feel like everyone is extended family.” She oversees a staff of 12 who care for six adults with learning disabilities in addition to conducting staff training on how to interact with clients and advocating for those clients within the company and Buffalo community.
An unwavering champion of the SSW, Wilson also works alongside Kathryn Kendall in their recruiting department sponsoring informational sessions and attending graduate fairs, where she talks to undergraduate students and professionals about the benefits of attending the UBSSW. “UB is very loyal to its students,” she relates. “There are tons of opportunities to develop professionally if you take advantage of what the school has to offer — you definitely will not regret it.”