March is Social Work Month, and the theme this year is “Empowering Social Workers.” Here at Say Yes Cleveland, we’re committed to recognizing the incredible impact social workers have on our community, especially within the educational landscape. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the inspiring work of our very own Say Yes Cleveland Social Workers.

This week, we turn the spotlight on Lekisha Rogers, a Family Support Specialist and Team Lead at Joseph Gallagher School. Below, Lekisha shares her valuable insights on empowering social workers and the ways they, in turn, empower the communities they serve.

What significance does Social Work Month hold for you?

Social Work Month holds profound significance for me; it highlights the invaluable contributions of social workers in enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities. As someone deeply entrenched in social work, I recognize the pivotal role social workers play in advocating for social justice, providing essential support services, and empowering vulnerable populations. Social Work Month serves as a beacon, reminding us to honor and celebrate the dedication, compassion, and resilience of social workers who tirelessly strive to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

In what ways do social workers play a crucial role in the success of students and schools?

Within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and its partnering charters, social workers serve as linchpins in fostering a nurturing and conducive learning environment for students. They offer vital assistance to students facing various socio-economic challenges, including poverty, homelessness, and trauma. By providing counseling, advocacy, and resource coordination, social workers play a pivotal role in addressing barriers to academic success and promoting holistic development among students. Moreover, they collaborate closely with teachers, administrators, families, and community organizations to implement targeted interventions and support systems, ensuring that every student receives the personalized care and support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.

How can the community create a more empowering and supportive environment for social workers?

Fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and inclusivity within the community can help create a supportive environment where social workers can effectively carry out their mission of serving those in need. By recognizing the importance of social work and actively engaging in efforts to support social workers, individuals can contribute to building a brighter future for our youth and communities.