Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
Spring 2021 master’s in social work graduate Edeline Plaisival has spent her time as a Sun Devil inspiring others to pursue education, both in her role as a management intern for Access ASU and as a proud parent to an 8-year-old daughter.
“She means the world to me, and I want to show her that it is possible to do anything when you put your mind to it,” Plaisival said.
Plaisival, who is from Phoenix, said she loves being a mom, but the transition to being a parent was difficult as a teenager. She got through it with the help of her own mother.
“My mother has been a major support in my life. I am grateful to have her in my life helping me along the way,” Plaisival said.
Plaisival earned her master’s in social work and focused on behavioral health with adults. She wants to work in a hospital setting to help people navigate the health care system.
“I have a client who has a language barrier, and it has been a pleasure working with her to help her understand her medical needs and providing her with community resources,” Plaisival said.
The Early Outreach Scholarship, financial aid for transfer students and the benefits of her management internship were a huge help, Plaisival said. She called her experience working for Access ASU amazing. In her role there, she worked with the Phoenix Union High School District assisting with student outreach, college readiness presentations and day-to-day needs.
“I was able to grow and build professional friendships. I have grown to be more confident with public speaking and advocacy with students,” she said. “I love passing on the wisdom and tips I was taught to the next generation.”
In her time at Arizona State University, Plaisival was also involved in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., which is part of the Divine Nine historically Black organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She said her sorority experience was one of many great ways to make friends and stay engaged.
“ASU has so many options for growth and professional growth,” she said.
Here, she reflects on her time at ASU and shares her advice for current students.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: The “aha” moment when I wanted to study social work was taking my first class at Mesa Community College. I was studying psychology, but yeah, it was not for me. When I spoke with a counselor she referred me to social work, and it changed my career path.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: I learned that medical social workers are in need from the field. My professor was telling the class it is a good field, but you have to have a LMSW (licenced master social worker). When you have an LMSW you can have more job opportunities. I was not into medical things, but my current internship is at a primary care office. I like the medical social work.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: Taking my social work class at Mesa Community College, ASU was talked about highly. They talked about the social work program, which inspired me to go to ASU from hearing stories from ASU alumni.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: There are so many professors, but the one who taught me the most would be Christopher Lindahl; he taught me everything about social work. He works in a medical setting, and he inspired me to go into medical social work.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Once you get your degree, no one can take that away from you. Other advice: Keep going. It is going to be worth it. Every late night and crying night with the hard work and dedication it is going to be worth it.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: My favorite spot on campus would be the courtyard at West (campus). There were always events happening where they gave free items. Haha, ASU swag.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I am going to get my LMSW then change the world the way I can.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would want to end homelessness. Homelessness has been a major impact within Phoenix. I would want to figure out how to decrease the percentage of people who are experiencing homelessness.