Meet the 2015 BSW Spirit of Social Work Award Winner

"I have had so many different professors that genuinely care. Not just that we were learning the material but that we were going in a direction that’s meaningful to us," Natalie Garcia.


Natalie Garcia 2015

Although the transition to Baylor in January of her sophomore year wasn’t the easiest, Natalie Garcia, a native of Washington state, was soon able to find Baylor a place she could call home.

"Right around the time I was considering transferring, my sister had graduated high school and decided to come here so I actually followed her," Natalie said. "When I first came to Baylor, I was frustrated trying to find transfer degree programs. I didn’t really know where I was going to go and felt very lost."

After doing intensive research trying to find a major that fit her interests, she finally came across social work.

"When I started reading the description, things just started clicking for me. Something just really made sense that hadn’t before. I’ve never lost that feeling the whole time I’ve been here," said Natalie.

Now on her third year, Natalie is able to share the different aspects of Baylor that make it such a unique and special home for her.

"What is so cool about social work at Baylor is that you get the 'big Baylor' experience with all the different events and then you get to come to social work and it’s just 30 other students. Everyone knows you and cares about you," Natalie said.

The emphasis that Baylor puts on faith has been a perfect fit for Natalie.

"The fact that Baylor teaches about the integration of faith in practice, unlike other schools, I think is so important when you’re doing social work because everyone has a spiritual aspect about them. It’s something that can’t be ignored," said Natalie.

Natalie added that receiving this award means that she has "done well" during her time here and that her hard work paid off.

After her graduation in May, Natalie is staying to work on her master’s of social work degree with a focus in the community practice concentration.

"I’m really interested in doing work with community development, especially around poverty, and in working with restorative justice and community reconciliation," Natalie said.

Reflecting on her time at Baylor, Natalie is easily able to look back on those who have made the biggest impact on her.

"I have had so many different professors that genuinely care. Not just that we were learning the material but that we were going in a direction that’s meaningful to us," Natalie said.

Article and photograph by Marketing Intern Margaret Riggins