Beating the odds

Local nonprofit hires scholarship recipient

Raja CharOnly 13 percent of college graduates in the United States go on to earn master’s, professional and doctoral degrees and only half of them will receive some form of financial aid. Raja Char beat the odds.

In 2018, Char was accepted into the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, and the scholarship she received proved to be worth much more than face value.

"Applying for college, let alone graduate school, can be scary," Char says. "Receiving The Joe Hall Scholarship created a foundation of hope and confidence. It gave me the opportunity to increase my education and surround myself with passionate individuals."

The scholarship Char received – The Joe Hall Scholarship – was established by The Children's Home to benefit full-time, preferably minority students in UC’s MSW program. Recipients not only receive financial support but also real-world experience through field placement within the agency, which provides comprehensive education, behavioral and health services to the local community.

"Hands down, it is one of the best nonprofits to work with. Not only do they focus on putting children first, they also think of the community," Char says. "The education I gained from The Children’s Home is way more valuable than any financial incentive and is something that has helped advance my professional career."

As part of her two-year practicum for the MSW program, Char joined the agency as a Behavioral Health Counseling (BHC) intern, providing individual therapy for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, primarily working with middle and high school students.

"I love being able to work at the individual and microsystemic level, in providing support for children and their families," Char says.

Today, Char is a School-Based Day Treatment/Behavioral Health Counseling therapist with the nonprofit. She was hired in April after completing the MSW program.

"As I continue to explore and grow as an individual, I would love to pursue a doctoral degree and work with children and families affected by racial disparities in the hopes of impacting and advocating from a macrosystemic standpoint."

Char says she is so grateful for the investment The Children’s Home of Cincinnati made in her as a student and is inspired to pay it forward now as an employee.

"I firmly believe that their holistic approach of giving back, supporting, and encouraging all whom they work with is key in making the world a better place for all," she says. "I think that is what life is all about – giving back and recognizing areas where you can support other individuals."

CAHS Building