Student Successes

Cherise Brookes

M.S. in Social Work

What degree are you working toward?

I am a second year Master’s student in the IU School of Social Work. I will be graduating in May 2017.

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

I heard about IUPUI through a Dean that I met in my home country Antigua while working as a counselor for the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda Youth Intervention Unit. She was presenting at a conference and she eventually told me about IUPUI. I came to visit IUPUI in a program called Getting You into IUPUI and fell in love with the campus. I feel like IUPUI is truly the best of two worlds - campus life, with a dash of city adventure which is perfect for me. Additionally, I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship that I couldn’t turn down… and the rest is history.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

First and foremost, I am an international student from the beautiful twin island nation state of Antigua & Barbuda. I am also a first generation college student and have maintained a 4.0 GPA for my entire first year of graduate school while working in IUPUI’s Office for Diversity Access & Achievement. This is a huge achievement for me personally. This is my very first experience of living in the US, attending school, working on campus and interning all at the same time. For me, it is truly a humbling feeling to have made it thus far as the only Antiguan student in the IU School of Social Work program to date, and I intend to make my family and country very proud.

I absolutely love Hoosiers; they are super friendly. I also love the atmosphere living on campus, I truly feel like it’s my second home away from home. Additionally, I like how easy it is to travel downtown from campus for shopping, or just to get away and explore.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

I absolutely love Hoosiers; they are super friendly. I also love the atmosphere living on campus, I truly feel like it’s my second home away from home. Additionally, I like how easy it is to travel downtown from campus for shopping, or just to get away and explore.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

As a graduate student, I successfully completed my very first practicum at the Civil Practice Clinic (ILSWC). The Civil Practice Clinic is an Interdisciplinary Law and Social Work Clinic (ILSWC) located in Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In this clinic, I worked closely with a law student on cases to providing social services to low-income clients. Currently, I am enrolled in my second practicum at Thomas D. Gregg Elementary School 15 where I work closely with the School Social Worker to provide social services to students and their families at the school. I feel that this practicum has been the most rewarding thus far, and I look forward to helping more children and families in need through direct assistance and various partnerships with community stakeholders.

Additionally, I was involved in two student governments on campus, the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) and The Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization (UPnGO) as their secretary. Earlier in the year, as a member of the IUPUI International Club I gave a cultural presentation about my home country, Antigua & Barbuda, and was the first student to do this at IUPUI. I made some of my country’s national dishes, and taught students how to dance to a soca song called ‘Old Time Something’ by one of my very own Antiguan Soca artist known as ‘Boasta’. Presently, as a Graduate Assistant for Outreach in the Office for Diversity & Academic Enrichment I have the opportunity to work along with Undergraduate Admissions to organize campus visits for various youth organizations and high schools that would like to visit IUPUI. This has been a very exciting job as I am able to interact with young people frequently while helping them think about their academic future and attending college.