ASU social work graduate finds calling in well-being of seniors

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

A native of Silverdale, Washington, Chelsea Raulsome came to Arizona State University specifically for the social work program. Although she originally was interested in nursing, her mother suggested she look into a social work degree. It was a good suggestion.

Raulsome is the ASU School of Social Work's outstanding graduate for fall 2017.

Raulsome interned at a hospice during her last year of college, which impacted her greatly. After graduation, she will enroll in the School of Social Work's advance standing master’s degree program in May. With her MSW, she plans on becoming a medical social worker in the gerontology field.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: It took me awhile to figure out that social work was the right degree for me. I knew I wanted to help people and make a difference in this world and I thought nursing would be that route for me. Turns out you need to pass chemistry, and math and science was never a strength for me. My mother told me about social work, as I looked into the degree and the courses I would be taking, it hit me. This is the route I was supposed to be on and once I had my first day of school, I never felt more confident in that decision.

Q. What's something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I grew up in a pretty Republican household that has swayed my beliefs. During my years at ASU, I learned to be open-minded and not assume my opinion of subjects was the right answer. This is something that I am so thankful for and glad I was able to view my classmates' perspective on issues and learn from them.

Q:  Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because my sister and brother-in-law recently moved down to the Phoenix area and were trying to have a baby. I knew that I wanted to be close to my future niece/nephew and was willing to do whatever it took to do that. When looking at schools in Phoenix, I noticed that ASU had a really good social work program and so I applied and thankfully got in! My sister ended up having a beautiful baby girl and I am so grateful I ended up here and at ASU.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: My best piece of advice that I would give any student still in school is what my favorite author always says: "We can do hard things." Yes. We can and we will! Keep going, it is worth it.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: My plans for after graduation is first to sleep in for a few days, celebrate with my friends/family, and get back at it. I plan on doing the advance standing master's program in May. I really want to get my MSW so I can become a medical social worker and start my career in the gerontology field.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If someone gave me $40 million dollars to solve one problem I would use it to tackle the gerontology side of things right now. Although this question is a hard one for a social worker to answer, I would want to use it to ensure that each senior ends up having all the resources they need to live their best life. I did my internship at a hospice my last year of school and noticed time and time again the resources that were needed to make a person's end of life most comfortable for them and their family required an incredible amount of finances. I believe that our gerontology population needs to be taken care of and it is our job to make sure they are not suffering because they can't afford a decent nursing, group or at-home care. This population relies on us.

Written by Malkaya Perkins