Social Work student finds her voice in study abroad

A Campbell University senior majoring in Social Work, Paksoy interned with Marie Stopes International, the United Kingdom’s leading provider of reproductive healthcare services. The nationwide network of over 40 healthcare clinics serves approximately 100,000 men and women each year. A registered charity, Marie Stopes also works in 40 countries using surplus funds from the clinics in the United Kingdom to support reproductive health care programs in some of the world’s poorest regions.
 Paksoy worked with the company’s press office on a special project directed at youth called “Zoom In!” In this project, disposable cameras were sent to teenagers, ages 15-18, in 13 developed and developing countries. These young people were instructed to take pictures and write stories about the realities and issues that impact their lives.
“Some children wrote about falling in love, while others wrote about teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” said Paksoy. “There were even those in developing countries who wrote about child trafficking and living in poverty.”
The object of “Zoom In!” was to find out how these children’s lives paralleled each other and to identify issues they had in common. The individual stories and pictures were compiled into a book and the project’s research presented to a group which included members of England’s House of Parliament, teachers, headmasters, health care providers and representative of other related fields.
“The research served as an educational tool for teachers to help their students understand the issues young people of the same age face in other countries,” said Paksoy. Hopefully it will be used as a kind of voice for kids, one that will say, ‘These kids need help. They need more than education. They need somebody to protect them.’”
As a Social Work major, Paksoy is more interested in policy and advocacy than direct client interaction. During the 2008-2009 Academic year, she will intern with the the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in Raleigh, N.C., where she will also have the opportunity to help influence policy.
“I’ll be sitting in Senate and House committee meetings and working a lot in the Legislative building with the NASW,” she said. In addition, Paksoy is working on a website which will link social work students and social work professionals internationally.
“The big plan is to have a website that will kind of open the door to international communication on the subject of Social Work,” she said. “Hopefully, it will give everyone the opportunity to see what social work is like around the world.”
A native of Shelby, N.C., Paksoy is a member of the Baptist Student Union, the Social Work Club and the Social Work Honor Society. Although Campbell’s Social Work program is growing, Paksoy would love to see it develop even further. I would like to see more classes offered and mores students who take advantage of study abroad opportunities,” she said. “It was an amazing experience.”
Paksoy is the daughter of John Paksoy and Lauren Rogers.