Thursday, August 18, 2016

Alumni Highlight 001: Mia Prohaska

Alumni Highlight 001: 
Mia Prohaska '16, BSW

Mia Prohaska graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Social Work, and a heart for the people around her. Read on to hear how Pacific gave her the tools she needed to change the world.

What was your favorite part of Pacific and why?
I love the community feel Pacific has, both the students and staff have are so welcoming and encouraging. I don’t think I would have become the person I am today without the encouragement Pacific gave me. I truly felt accepted and included in the Pacific community.

What was your favorite service project you participated in at Pacific? Why?
Well I worked for the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) so this is really hard! I would have to say the Thanksgiving I hosted with the students from Saudi Arabia. It was such a special time where two cultures came together and celebrated unity. I think now more than ever it is important to celebrate diversity. That day was just filled with some much joy, love and great food; I don’t think I’ll ever forget that Thanksgiving, and all the amazing students that made it so special! Plus who doesn’t like a service event with delicious food!

What are you most passionate about, when it comes to “making the world a better place”?
This is hard because there are so many great ways to make the world a better place and I am in general just a pretty passionate person. I think my greatest passion is youth empowerment; I think it is so important that kids feels safe and welcomed in their daily environments. I think our school system really expects kids to be great at everything, and kids really feel that pressure at an early age. You can have a student who is incredible at something, maybe art or writing, but because they struggle with math they go through the school system feeling as if they are inadequate. I think it’s so important that we work to really shine a light on each and every persons individual strengths instead of their weaknesses. Using someone’s own personal strengths to build them up is what empowerment is all about to me. Whether I am working in the political sphere, international sphere, or local sphere that is what I hope to do with my life. 
How did Pacific help you in your aims to “make the world a better place”?
I got to major in social work which is all about making the world a better place. Because of my major I got to have so many hands on experiences with different populations. My biggest experience was my 440 hour practicum I was able to do with Representative Joe Gallegos. I was actually able to  help him form policy that will reintroduce social workers into the Oregon school system.

Working for the CCE for four years also helped me make the world a better place; it was basically my job to do just that. I was able to work with so many incredible students in the community. I was able to teach cooking, form an elementary explorers club, and do tons of fun arts and craft activities thanks to my time at the CCE. When I look back I have so many incredible memories because of my work there. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the CCE. 

How were you able to use your academics at Pacific to “make the world a better place”?
Well thanks to all the amazing academic experience Pacific gave me I was awarded a Fulbright to Thailand. I now get to live my dream of being a teacher in my favorite place ever for a year. I know with the skills I have learned in social work and through personal experiences I am going to make a difference in my students' lives and hopefully make the world a better place. 

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that's empowering passionate students to become alumni who are prepared to make a difference in our world.

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