California Society for Clinical Social Work

Professional Development | Advocacy | Connection

We are thrilled to highlight the 2019 recipients of the Jannette Alexander Foundation Scholarships. The Jannette Alexander Foundation for Clinical Social Work Education is a subsidiary non-profit education foundation of the California Society for Clinical Social Work. Each year, the Foundation awards $1000 scholarships to graduating MSW students who demonstrate excellence in clinical studies and practice. Congratulations to these inspiring 2019 students who have already made wonderful contributions to the field of social work! We are so excited to follow your continued success and contributions.

Jannette Alexander Scholarship Recipients - 2019

Belen Aguirre

As a first generation Latina, I was born to a migrant family that originates from the states of Jalisco and Durango, Mexico. I was born and raised in Salinas, CA to parents who worked and continue to work in agriculture related jobs. I too was able to accompany my parents at the age of 16 to work in lettuce fields on early weekend mornings. Growing up in Salinas was not the mellowest ride. It was difficult to understand why my parents valued my education so much and it was so I had a better future. Salinas is primarily identified for high crime and violence rates especially with gang culture. I can personally say that I connect with some of the struggles that my community faces every day. Because of such violence that interrupts and entangles the lifestyles of many residents, I can deeply identify with them as I too have lost loved ones to this issue. Despite some of its struggles, I believe Salinas has the potential to change. I see the potential in this community, yet I also see the struggles. I see the need for more mental health support in our community and change at all levels of systems. When I went to college, I found myself exploring possible career pathways either in human communications, or journalism. At that time, one of my main goals was to contribute back to my community in some form or way. I thought I would be able to do so through writing and informing the public of current news. By random, I decided to take an “Ethics for Health and Human Services” course by Dr. Raines. I had no idea what the word ethics meant, but today I can say that this ethics course was my first encounter with the exact definition of the social work profession. I began to recognize that there are many social issues today that are left ignored and unspoken of. While my goal remained the same, to contribute back to my community, my focus had now shifted into another form of contribution. I began to accumulate interest in the intense stories of people with high crisis situations and needs. At that point, I had found my profession. By choosing a profession in social work, there was no doubt that I would be able to contribute in many ways to my community. I find value in contributing back to my community because I am part of this community and my community is part of me. By becoming an advocate for families, groups and individuals I am also becoming an advocate for myself. Today, I have a desire to reach to those that are marginalized, and those that are exposed to being absorbed by the cracks.

I am beyond thankful for this notice. I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have been selected for this scholarship and have the opportunity to be part of the California Society for Clinical Social Work. Again thank you and the entire Jannette Alexander Foundation team!

Cklara Moradian

Cklara Moradian is a diaspora Kurd, former refugee, survivor, social justice advocate, spoken word poet, and social worker in training. Cklara's work and clinical practice attempts to bear witness to the resilience and strengths of people she serves. She hopes to facilitate narratives of survivorship in the face of hardship and pain. Cklara is a 2nd year CSUN MSW Candidate in the 2019 cohort, completing a Department of Mental Health internship, and a graduate fellowship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She also works with the elderly and immigrant populations in the San Fernando Valley. Her practice is rooted in anti-oppressive theory and praxis. She hopes to continue to serve multiply marginalized communities, center disenfranchised voices in policy and research, and elevate the strength and resiliency of people who have and continue to deal with trauma.

I came to the field of Social Work from nonprofit organizations and community based advocacy. I immediately felt that my core values and life mission were aligned with this profession. I looked for spaces and people that could help cultivate my passion and direct me towards growth. I found out about CSCSW through emails sent by my CSUN MSW department and was excited by the diversity of topics covered. I attended my first event at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the San Fernando Valley very early on in my MSW education. As a student, I was able to attend the events for free and really appreciated the opportunity to learn about innovative practices. I met amazing people during that first event, and despite a very impacted schedule, I have tried to continue to attend other CSCSW events in my area. I have always walked away feeling invigorated and enriched. I highly encourage other MSW students to take advantage of these opportunities.

It is an honor to be the recipient of the Jannette Alexander Foundation scholarship. Being recognized by seasoned clinicians for the work I am doing with my clients inspires me to continue to become better. I am humbled. The fact that this scholarship recognizes the strengths of individuals who have overcome hardships in their journey is also deeply affirming. I hope to use the funds I receive to travel to conferences that would otherwise be inaccessible to me. I hope to increase the range of skills in my toolbox to better serve the communities I care about.

I am also very grateful that I will be a member of CSCSW for one year as a result of this scholarship. I hope to connect with a mentor and continue to attend events that can help me in my practice. As I embark on this new post-graduate school journey, I am looking to continue to learn and give back to the field. I hope to be a speaker one day.

Andy Le

Andy Le is a candidate for the Master of Social Work from the California State University, Fullerton. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society with a minor in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Irvine. Andy received a nomination for the UC Irvine’s Chancellor’s Living Our Values Award in 2014 for his contributions to the university’s student life and leadership. He has extensive experience working in various capacities such as non-profits, juvenile probation, higher education, and health care in Orange and Sacramento counties. Andy is currently serving children, families, and older adults at an outpatient clinic for Kaiser Permanente. He provides services such as individual and group psychotherapy, biopsychosocial assessments, and crisis management. As a fellow for the Council of Social Work Education Minority Fellowship Program, Andy is committed in addressing disparities in mental health and substance use among diverse racial and ethnic groups on national and local levels.

Andy is a dedicated professional with outstanding organizational and innovation skills that is vital in supporting his patients’ holistic needs and course of recovery.

I am excited and honored to receive this year’s Jannette Alexander Foundation scholarship. I heard about this scholarship opportunity through the Department of Social Work at Cal State Fullerton. This scholarship will support me in my post-graduate goals pursuits to achieve my LCSW, on-going professional development, and funds for training materials.

I look forward to participating in the CSCSW mentorship program to increase my professional networking and career development as a clinical social worker. Thank you, CSCSW for this opportunity to continue Jannette’s social work legacy in memory of her.

CSCSW | P.O. Box 60937, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | 310-254-9471 |

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