Humility, curiosity and leadership.
These three characteristics have been used to describe senior Colorado Springs native and 2020 Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) BSW Outstanding Student recipient Megan (Meg) Peck.
Though she didn’t know what social work was at the beginning of her freshman year, this posture of open-mindedness is perhaps what led Peck to listen to the many voices repeatedly telling her it would be a good fit.
“I always wanted to be a counselor, but I appreciate how the profession of social work puts an emphasis on social justice and cultural humility,” she said.
Fast forward three and a half years at the GSSW and Peck has experienced community, growth and encouragement all while discovering her passions and using her voice to bring about positive change.
“Coming from a biracial family, moving to a predominantly-white institution in the south was definitely an adjustment,” she said.
It wasn’t until 2018 when a series of social and political events negatively affecting marginalized groups combined with GSSW Lecturer and BSW Program Director Luci Ramos Hoppe opening up about her experience as a woman of color, that Peck felt like she had hit her turning point.
“Her bravery and vulnerability kick-started my journey not only to reconnect with my own culture, but also to find my voice and use it to advocate for others,” she said. “I do this not in spite of, but because of my beliefs that everyone is worthy of love, respect, and justice.”
After an internship at Family Abuse Center, serving on the Social Work Student Association and excelling in her classes, Peck will continue her education at the GSSW in pursuit of an MSW.
But that’s not the last of the education world for Meg. She hopes to work in a school one day, and eventually do advocacy or activism work in D.C.
I always wanted to be a counselor, but I appreciate how the profession of social work puts an emphasis on social justice and cultural humility.
“Because of the impact higher education has had on me, I think it would be a special opportunity if I ever had the chance to become an instructor myself,” she said. “Some of the professors have become some of my most trusted and admired mentors both professionally and personally.”
One of Peck's professors specifically applauded Peck for being a fierce advocate for equity and justice.
“Meg is the ultimate gracious learner and approaches all classes, conversations and human interactions with an open mind and heart,” she said.
Just as her professors and peers have spoken so highly of her, Peck has inexpressible amounts of gratitude for all who have impacted her in ways she never could have expected. Along with college seniors across the country, she admits it’s not easy to end senior year without a proper goodbye.
“The common theme throughout all my interactions with professors from the school of social work has been this: just do the next right thing,” Peck said. “At times like this, I think now more than ever how important it is to just do the next right thing, whatever that looks like for you.”