Kuyper Student Receives Social Worker of the Year Award

Every year the National Association of Social Worker (NASW) recognizes an outstanding student with personal, character and skill qualities that embody the principles of Social Work.

This year’s recipient of the prestigious award is Kuyper senior Heather Ritzema. According to NSAW Ritzema’s outstanding leadership, positive contribution and achievement of results in both her study and practicum fields made her selection an obvious choice.

Ritzema’s work has helped shape and prepare her for her future as a social worker. She has worked, at Brook Cherith Camp and Camp Geneva. In addition, she has been a volunteer at Frederik Meijer Gardens, Kent District Library, and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

According to Ritzema her time at Kuyper has given her the tools and knowledge she needed to pursue a career in Social Work. “My experience at Kuyper has been quite the journey,” said Ritzema. “I have learned so much about myself and I learned the necessary skills to become a good social worker.”

Speaking of Ritzema’s achivements at Kuyper, Professor Greg Scott, Director of the Social Work Program said, “Heather is a professional who is passionate for social justice and helping the oppressed, she represents the quality of our program and the many other students who will follow in her footsteps.”

Currently, Ritzema is serving at her church and at Safe Haven Ministries. After graduation, she plans to enter full time work with a local social service agency and pursue her Master’s in Social Work.

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