Angela Warren earned an associate degree at Glendale Community College in May 2011, followed by a bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University in December 2013. This past May, she started the master’s program in social work at the ASU downtown campus.
Three days before she began the master’s program, she got a happy surprise: An e-mail from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, announcing she had received the “Continuing Scholar Graduate Award,” which funds up to a total of $50,000 for advanced study.
This wasn’t the first time Warren had received good news from the Foundation; earlier, she had been among the nation’s top community college students who received a Jack Kent Cooke scholarship that had covered all of the costs of her undergraduate degree.
Thanks to the Continuing Scholar Graduate Award, she now has everything she needs to finish her advanced-standing master’s degree program at ASU.
Warren says the scholarship will allow her to finish her internship next summer; she hopes to work for a residential treatment program. She envisions a career as a therapist with a focus on children, youth and families. Ultimately, she hopes to work in the area of sex-trafficking.
“There are so many kids out there who are on the streets, trying to figure out life; for some of them, their only means of survival is either selling sex or drugs, which leads to a downward spiral that can include prostitution and sex trafficking,” she said.
She is passionate about her work and grateful for the opportunity to pursue it. One area of interest is transitional housing for kids, who, at 18, have completed a program and are on their own, needing support for the next phases: education, getting into workforce, earning a living, running a household and so on. Her ultimate goal is to help kids and families recover so they can go on to live highly productive lives.
“There’s such a need, and there are so many people who are willing to help,” said Warren, noting that her time at ASU connected her with others who are doing the work, including leading experts in Arizona and across the nation. “My dream is that someday I might be able to help fill some of the gaps that exist in Arizona,” she said.
Warren expresses deep gratitude for the opportunity to pursue her chosen path.
“I am touched that people who don’t know me personally have chosen to believe in me and have given me opportunities to pursue what I love, which is helping young people to recover from trauma and to put their lives back together,” she said.