About the author
My name is Allison Peeler and I've been an LMSW since 2015. As a part of the completion of my MSW degree, I wrote a thesis called "Perceptions of Professional and Financial Worth among Master of Social Work Students." Think of this as the formal name for socialworthit and all it stands for.
I currently work in higher education institutional communications for the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. Communications (in the literal sense of the profession) wasn’t always my path- I started out as a mental health service provider. But graduate school opened my eyes to the ways I could expand my skill set and find new ways to help the helpers, so to speak. I was struck by the way I heard some of my MSW peers talking to themselves and each other about the careers they were either about to begin or already had. The tone was not always positive and supportive, and I got the idea that many of them felt they were working in a vacuum- that no one even knew about the amazing work they were doing in their communities every day.
It made me wonder- who's job was it to spread the word about what direct practitioners out there in the trenches were doing- using evidenced-based treatment models and expertise to organize communities, reunify families and help people with chronic conditions live to their potential- and how could I help write and frame that story?
This was part of the framework for my research project, and it was also the reason I sought out training and internships where I had the chance to hone skills like program development, community organizing, marketing and fundraising.
I transitioned to UNT after graduation not because of my passion for higher ed marketing, but to get to practice with the best in the industry; to have a full team of expert designers, writers and strategists who could teach me the things I hadn’t received in my non-profit agency experience. I always tell people that I see my role right now as a training ground- that some day I hope to bring this knowledge back to the social work community to help investigate, reframe and retell our professional story- one that includes better pay.