NASW, MS Chapter

 Krista Guynes, NASW, MS Vice President

1. Why are you a member of NASW?

I’m still pretty young as a social work practitioner, simply meaning I have A LOT of career left. I have 12 years of experience in the field of school social work and feel optimistic that this area of practice is one I can stick with well into my 40s and 50s. However, much of the viability of specialized areas of practice like school social work is dependent upon how well it is understood and supported by those NOT in this field.  I have seen firsthand how hard our Executive Director and her team works to keep us (the members) in the loop about major issues, like proposed legislation, state agency mandates/changes, and other major issues that are relative to our state’s social workers in EVERY area of practice. Having a team committed to keeping us informed and providing us sound guidance on “how to help” is what allows all of us, working together, to be the hands and feet for social work advocacy and change RIGHT HERE IN MISSISSIPPI. Having that support at the STATE level is what keeps me vested in NASW.

The other main reason I am a member is at this point, I really wouldn’t know how NOT to be. I joined as a BSW student in 2002 and have maintained my membership ever since. My membership has allowed me the opportunity to serve on the state Board of Directors as a Region Representative for some years, as well as on various committees. That’s all great…I enjoy it immensely. But, truth be told, I really value the opportunities to learn from some of the most dynamic, skillful, and talented social workers I will ever meet.  I don’t think I would have the same opportunities to do that if not for the “intentional” meetings or NASW-sponsored events that I am able to attend.

Lastly, I recall one of our former President’s saying to the Board one time, “this organization, y’all… have raised me” as she talked about how important NASW and many of the veteran social workers before her had been in her overall career and professional development. With over a decade in the field now, I now understand how very important the “indoctrination” into PROFESSIONAL social work really is…and the MS Chapter has just really been a big part of that for me.

2.  What made you interested in serving as the Chapter’s Co-Chair for the Membership and Publicity Committee?

HA!! I don’t really remember how this all came about. I think maybe I just volunteered to lead a brainstorming session at a Board meeting on ideas to boost membership, and by the end of it I had a new position. At that time, the committee only had one Chair. Over the past 2-3 years, the committee’s focus, tasks, and responsibilities have really expanded. Thankfully, there is another amazing, energetic, superpower also known as Katie McDaniel, who has Co-Chaired the MPC with me for about a year now.

3.  What do you do in an average day in your social work position?

There really isn’t an average day for me as a school social worker. In 12 years, I have never had the same day twice. As best as possible though, I do attempt to plan a weekly agenda based on my caseload, the presenting issues, needs, and tasks I “hope” to accomplish by that Friday. I can say that most of my time is spent with parents either at my office or in their homes working on behalf of students. Each case is different…I provide support for all areas of living and use a broad spectrum of social work skills to do so from brokering, case management, negotiation, and mediation to clinical and therapeutic skills depending on what a student may need.

4.  How do you de-stress from your job?

Obviously, the best way for me to decompress is to do something that requires no serious amount of thought or problem-solving skills at all. That said, a good game of Candy Crush is never very far away. I also LOVE hip-hop dancing and Zumba as both exercise and fun. Listening to music on headphones is something I do every evening once my household has settled for the night…my favorite genres being pop, hip-hop, rap and country. And while I have headphones on my ears, I can often be found painting gourds or sewing various things. I was an only child…I have always been pretty good at keeping myself entertained.

5. What’s on your bucket list?

Well, I think I might like to do many things before it’s lights out for me. I have a few places I’d like to travel…many natural wonders I’d like to glimpse with my own eyes just once. I’d love to see more vast, open spaces…mountains…wildlife… meadows… really anywhere that’s managed to stay untouched and undisturbed by mankind.  Driving a nice sports car and a motorcycle would be fun. Learning to roller-skate (again) is something I plan to do. More tattoos. I want to be a Hibachi chef at least one time before I die…seriously.  I’d like to attend the Little League World Series as a spectator at least once. And certainly, anything that makes my daughter light up, giggle, and brim with excitement…I want to do that…repeatedly.

Katie McDaniel, At-Large Representative & Chair Membership & Publicity Committee

 1. I am a member of NASW because it is a wonderful association that has not only benefited me educationally but also professionally. It has always kept me up to date with my local chapter, national social work issues and much more!

2. I began my journey as the Undergraduate Representative for Delta State University in 2012 where I began working on the Membership and Publicity Committee and fell in love with it. Being a young college student I knew a lot about social media and how to use it to benefit the chapter so when my term ended I was asked to Co-Chair the Membership and Publicity Committee. I enjoy my position because not only do I get to promote joining NASW but I also get to interact with other social workers and develop those connections we need.

3. I am currently a student working on my Masters in Social Work from Jackson State University and I work part-time at Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS. My typical day consists on studying, writing papers or helping students succeed in college. 

4. To de-stress I have begun doing more DIY projects as well as cooking. I enjoy doing the deco-mesh wreaths, painting, sewing projects and staying on Pinterest!

5. My bucket list has many things that I need to knock off, but one of the things I hope to get done is do a road trip across the U.S. I want to see all of the cheesy sights as well as national treasurers. 







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