Social Work and Vulnerable Populations / Contemporary Global Issues
B.A., June 2011, cum Laude
Home College: Brooklyn
Faculty Mentors: Profs. Susan Chambre,Sociology/Anthropology, Baruch College, and Thomas Halper, Political Science, Baruch College/CUNY Graduate Center
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
International Honors Program
President Volunteer Service Award
Philipine-Duchesne Award for Community Service
Duchesne Community Service Scholarship
After two years of college at Manhattanville, Rachel McCroy came to CUNY BA to study social work focusing on marginalized communities. Her Manhattanville faculty recommender, Prof. Gregory Swedberg, Latin American History, wrote “While I have had the opportunity to instruct many talented students over the years, Rachel is truly exceptional. I have encountered few students who are as socially conscious and demonstrate a genuine intellectual curiosity as Rachel.”
The creation of her dual concentration stemmed from related out-of-the-classroom work. She realized her desire to do development work when she participated in service-learning trips to El Salvador, the Philippines and Mexico, working with children, learning about the local culture and assisting with community projects. This fueled her idea for the Contemporary Global Issues concentration. Her interest in working with at-risk populations led to Social Work and Vulnerable Populations: for two years, she volunteered with teenagers from a homeless shelter where she co-coordinated a recreational program, playing sports, creating art projects and facilitating theatre games. She also constructed a program that provided tutors for homeless adults who needed GED preparation. In addition, she has fundraised to build a school in Bangladesh, co-planned a soccer tournament to raise money for school supplies for the teens at the homeless shelter, written about human rights concerns for the school newspaper and interned at Safe Horizon and the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
She took her area courses in political science, children’s studies, women’s studies, sociology, history and geography at Baruch, Brooklyn and Hunter, and included an independent study on domestic violence and sexuality.
Presently she volunteers as the Assistant to the Executive Director at the Foundation for Post-Conflict Development, an NGO affiliated with the U.N.; is working on building a youth center in Haiti; interns at the Associated Medical Schools of NY; and co-directs an afterschool program. She aspires to start her own nonprofit to enhance the quality of life of marginalized groups, in particular, by promoting mental health and increasing mental health services.
McCroy has been accepted to the NYU Silver School of Social Work with a Tuition Award. She attributes a large part of her acceptance to the flexibility and independence of CUNY BA. “CUNY BA puts a lot of faith into students’ ability to create their own degrees, which, in my case, was what I really needed. I knew what I wanted to do and had the opportunity to decide what was necessary for my own life and future career. I had autonomy, I got a breadth of knowledge on many topics and I had fun learning. CUNY BA does a great job of providing attention to each of its students, despite the fact that CUNY itself is a large system. Enrolling in CUNY BA was one of the best choices I made!”