My name is Mariah Strock, and I am a student in English 400-16: Active Citizenship-An Advanced Writing Seminar. I am a Bachelor of Social Work candidate, with an expected graduation in May 2019 from Longwood University in Farmville, VA. I am originally from Virginia Beach, VA and currently live in the northern Virginia area. I plan to pursue a career in school social work after graduation. My passion and desire for helping others spans as far back as I can remember. As a child, I volunteered with my mother, helping vulnerable populations such women, children, homeless individuals, and people with disabilities. My passion for volunteerism furthered in high school. I provided supervision, instruction, and team building opportunities for youth while serving as a volunteer basketball coach for three years. I was also very active in volunteering for community outreach activities with my church. I knew even before beginning my undergraduate studies that I wanted to pursue an educational program that facilitated my calling to help others. When I applied to colleges, I was proud to declare Social Work as my major. During my undergraduate studies at Longwood University, I have taken a wide range of courses that exposed me to a variety of practice areas. However, it wasn’t until my freshman year that I discovered my true passion. I knew that I wanted help children and families who had been exposed to abuse. My mother had recently escaped from a decade long abusive relationship. She sought help, received it, and was empowered to make a change. While she was quickly able to heal from the physical scars of the abuse, she had emotional scars that lasted for years afterward. While my mother was the direct victim of this domestic abuse, my siblings and I were also negatively impacted. We had emotional healing to do as well. This childhood experience, while painful, helped me to choose domestic abuse victims as the vulnerable population that I am most interested in working with after graduation.

As part of this course, we worked on several projects and those projects are highlighted in this e-portfolio. The purpose of this portfolio is to present the active citizenship writing that I participated in throughout this course. English 400 class activities and course assignments, including those included in this portfolio, will advance my development as an active citizen with an agency to begin enacting change through written communication. I believe that I grew in my active citizenship writing throughout the course, and improvements in my persuasive skills can be seen throughout this portfolio. As a future social worker, I will be expected to demonstrate active citizenship and to empower others to do the same. During social work practice, active citizenship writing can be used to advocate for social justice for vulnerable populations and to influence others to join the cause for the common good.

All coursework and materials developed during this class were designed to fulfill the Course Learning Outcomes, which include:

  • Engage in the process of citizen leadership by investigating multiple perspectives on important public issues;
  • Understand the nature of public discourse/debate as determined by purpose, audience, and context;
  • Choose appropriate formats in writing for a variety of purposes;
  • Analyze the effectiveness of their own texts and processes for specific rhetorical situations;
  • Understand how the knowledge, skills, and values learned in general education are interwoven and interrelated, and how they can contribute to the process of citizen leadership.