Anna Johnson’s Story – 2013/2014 Social Work Intern

Anna_social work intern picAt 23 years old, Anna has distinguished herself among her peers.  A newbie to the Atlanta area, Anna has already settled in, surrounding herself with people she feels a strong connection with.  A native of Madison, Mississippi, Anna has traveled throughout the U.S. and spent a one month field practicum in Rajaduda, India at Divine Providence Foundling Home (Karunabhavan) Licensed Adoption Agency. This was a partnership between Rust College Holly Springs, Ms and Marrian College School of Social Work in Kuttikanam, India.

Anna received her Bachelors of Social Work from Rust College of Holy Springs, Mississippi in 2012.  She applied and was accepted in the rigorous one year Master’s program with Clark-Atlanta University where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in social work.  She is exciting and full of enthusiasm to intern with the Social Work team at GJP where she hopes to gain a broader understanding of social work, particularly in the criminally accused setting. 

Anna’s Master’s thesis, “An Exploration of Academic Achievement as it Relates to Single Parent Households in the African-American Community Among College Students in the Atlanta University Center” is consuming most her time when she is not at GJP. 

She shared that part of the reason she chose Atlanta to pursue graduate studies is because she had a mentor who lived here for four years and she was very intrigued and inspired by what the Atlanta community had to offer.

As early as she can remember, Anna said she initially wanted to be a lawyer but after a research project given to her by her favorite teacher, Ms. Wise in seventh grade, she realized she wanted to be more involved and hands on working in the criminal justice field.  Thus was her introduction to the field of social work.

Ever a avid civil servant, Anna has been the President Nominee of the Rust College Student Government Association, Manager of the Rust College Boys and Girls Basketball and Tennis Teams, and Vice-President of the Rust College Social Work Association.

I love to travel and hope to do more.  During my field practicum in India, I experienced the best and worst time I can remember.  The biggest challenge for me was the language barrier—especially in a place where American English is not spoken.  Communication was a constant challenge.  Not only did I have to learn the local dialect, Malayalam, but also re-interpret their British English into American English. I have a strong southern accent which didn’t help so even their attempt to understand me was more challenging.  And, after all of that, I became seriously ill during my last week there, losing 10 lbs.  As I look back though, I can truly appreciate the experience of sharing in the culture and learning that people all over the world deal with the same kinds of human issues, no matter the country.  I come from a strong family background where everyone supports their neighbors, this was bred into me.  I believe this will stay with me as I continue to grow as a person and professional.”