As a full-time mom and a full-time student, Olga Guevara knows how to maintain a balance between her personal and professional lives. This skill will definitely come in handy in her future career as a social worker.
Olga, a first-generation college student, transferred to Briar Cliff after attending Western Iowa Tech's two-year introductory social work program. Olga is now a junior at Briar Cliff majoring in Social Work and Spanish. While her choice to major in social work came naturally, she did not know originally that she wanted to be a social worker. She just knew she wanted to help those in need. "I feel like I was chosen to do this," Olga said. "My career choice isn't about money, it's about what's important - people."
Briar Cliff's social work program has been accredited by the Council of Social Work Education since 1974, which is one of the reasons that Olga chose to attend Briar Cliff for the last two years of her education. Olga also appreciates the community atmosphere of The Cliff.
"Briar Cliff feels like home," she said. "I think that its values are embedded in the campus culture." Olga continues, "The professors and social work mentors have been very welcoming. I am looking forward to learning in a place where people come from many different backgrounds."
Olga was also pleased to attend a university in her hometown. She has lived in Sioux City for twenty years and is thankful for all of the opportunities that her community has afforded her. "I love Sioux City, and I do see a need for more social workers here. I am eager to give back to a place that has given me so much."
After graduating from Briar Cliff, Olga hopes to work with immigrant families. Her family immigrated to the United States during her childhood, so she knows firsthand what those families are going through and will be qualified to assist them. Currently, Olga volunteers as a Big Sister, participates in the Social Work and Spanish Clubs, and works for the Mary Treglia Community House and Unity in Action in South Sioux City.
Outside of class, Olga loves to spend time in nature and takes her dog for walks at Bacon Creek, one of her favorite spots in Sioux City. She also does yoga and spends time with her family.
"I couldn't be doing this without my family and my support system," she said, "When I graduate in 2019, my diploma will be a family diploma. It's really been a group effort."