A Mother’s Journey to Become a Social Work Professional

Dalina Rainey MSW_600

Dalina Rainey’s pursuit of a graduate degree first began almost four years ago while she was doing intensive in-home counseling in Virginia. She was working with at-risk youth and when she saw the type of impact she could have on the lives of her clients she was inspired. “I said to myself there has to be more to this, what do I need to learn in order to get there?” explained Rainey.

After moving to Summerville, Rainey decided that she wanted to earn a graduate degree in Social Work. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to drive long distances several times a week for classes. That is why the Master of Social Work program offered by the University of South Carolina at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in North Charleston was the perfect fit for her.

As a mother of a young daughter, the convenience of being able to take all of her classes on Saturday was just as important as the location. This made it possible for her to attend an internship three days a week, work a part-time job, and still have time to spend with her family. “Being able to do my whole course load one day a week and to go somewhere like USC and get my degree, but local, it is priceless,” she enthused.

Upon earning a Master’s degree in Social Work, Rainey was hired as a forensic interviewer and a therapist at Dorchester Children’s Center. This opportunity enabled her to utilize the skills that she learned in graduate school and represented the culmination of her pursuit to become a professional in her field, stating: “It means that I have strived, that we have endured as a family, because I am not just going through this. It has been a journey and they have been a part of that as well. So the end is just as much theirs as it is mine, it’s all of ours.”

Watch this video to hear more of Rainey’s story and learn how the University of South Carolina’s Master of Social program can help you advance your career.