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In Loving Memory of Andris Wofford 

Andris Wofford was a beautiful soul who is celebrated for her compassion, determination, and as a promising social worker, deeply rooted and grounded in justice. She is remembered as a loving mother to two daughters, Ava and Averie, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and colleague. Her family remember her as “vibrant,” “sweet” and “full of life.”   

Andris had worked as a case manager for Child Link, a Chicago child welfare organization, where she worked with teenagers between the ages of 16 to 19 who had experienced extended stays in foster care. According to her colleagues, she was an “energetic,” “caring,” and “nurturing,” youth case manager who was a “tremendous” support for the teenagers she worked with. “She became a person in their lives who offered stability and support as they navigated adolescence”.  Andris already had the heart and passion of a social worker which led her to pursue her Master’s degree at Dominican University’s School of Social Work. Andris was around one semester away from obtaining her MSW. Despite unexpected events and life challenges put in front of her, Andris remained committed and steadfast in completing her program and wanted to dedicate her MSW to her daughters, Ava and Averie.  

She is remembered by her faculty, staff and fellow students as inquisitive, reflective and passionate, strong and dedicated. As her advisor and professor, Sheila Yousuf-Abramson, had the opportunity to witness her personal and professional growth. According to Sheila, through life’s unexpected events and challenges, she was learning to open up, to allow others in, to not carry burdens on her own and to advocate for what she needed to be successful. Andris shared the following.. “learning to push my own insecurities to the side has been my biggest challenge. I know I have the ability to do great things but I have been my biggest critic(ist). I must understand that with time, things will come with experience. I have to be open to the opportunities of growth I have been granted. I am beginning to push myself to become a better and well-rounded social worker in many areas.” There is no doubt that these words would have not only been realized, but also exceeded. That was who Andris was.   

Andris participated in the Guatemala study abroad course where she helped to build a powerful community of collaboration and inclusion. According to Dr. Villarreal Sosa, amazed at her own resilience and participation in a study abroad trip, Andris stated, “I can believe this little Black girl from Chicago is climbing a volcano in Guatemala.” Andris chose social work to advance social justice issues, human rights and expand opportunities to minoritized populations. She truly embodied the essence of Caritas and Veritas, and her experience in Guatemala solidified her commitment to social justice. Here are her own words: 

"This experience made me ask myself who else can I influence? Working in child welfare, I knew I could go home and share my experiences with my team. I believe it’s important for me to think about the non-English speaking people I encounter and know that they experience injustices all the time and have no one left to defend them. I can be the voice for the voiceless. This action begins now. It begins when we all return to our lives back at home. The risk is not using my power for change. I must become the change I want to see. With the support of friends and coworkers, we can share the same wisdom to do better with our actions."

Scholarship Details

This legacy scholarship will provide MSW students an opportunity to receive 40-hour Domestic Violence (DV) training certification, using a trauma informed approach, address how to appropriately and safely respond to domestic violence, and also to raise awareness to prevent further violence throughout the community in a culturally responsive manner.   

The training covers: 

  • Dynamics of DV 

  • Empowerment Counseling 

  • Criminal and Civil Legal Issues 

  • Safety Planning 

  • Risk Assessment 

  • Confidentiality 

  • Teen Dating Violence 

  • Impact of DV on Children 

  • Introduction to Partner Abuse Intervention Strategies 

  • Connection to Mental Health and Substance Abuse 

  • Dynamics within LGBTQ Communities 

  • Elder Abuse 

  • Supporting People with Disabilities 

  • Self and Community Care 

  • Culturally Responsive DV training  

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must: 

  1. Be entering their Advanced Generalist year in the MSW program 

  1. Not be currently placed or planning to be placed at a DV shelter or agency or placement in which 40-hour DV training will be provided  

  1. Submit a two page reaction to the following prompts: 

    • Identify why you would like to be 40 hour DV trained and how you intend to use that certification to further your professional career as a social worker.

    • How does your culture view DV? What is your commitment to addressing issues of DV in your community and/or diverse communities?

Accepting applications starting August 15

Deadline: November 15