Rewarding Energy, Passion, and Soul
Shannon Price believes in social workers – the impact their work has on individual lives, the value they provide for the broader community, and the passion they bring to their profession. “You can be the stone thrown in the water or the ripple effect, but the two really are never separate. One always affects the other,” said the 2008 MSW graduate when speaking about her own experience in social work. Realizing the impact that social work can have, and desiring to promote its continuation, Ms. Price has committed a portion of her estate to the College of Social Work for an endowed student award.
Each year, the “Energia Animi Award” will recognize a non-traditional student for the passion she or he brings to their chosen career. The name of the award means soul energy. “The ‘energia’ is your energy and your passion. The ‘animi’ is the spiritual, reasoning part of the soul,” Ms. Price explained. “Once you’ve engaged your soul into your conviction and allow things to take their course, they take on energy. That energy becomes like the stone thrown in the water; it creates a wake that will move out from its epicenter, impacting everything.” Ms. Price is interested in acknowledging and rewarding the soul energy that so many social workers bring to the profession, in part, because she was a recipient of the College’s Sharon Goodwill Award. “The award was totally unexpected. When I received it, it was like someone said to me, ‘We have paid attention to you – you’ve done well and we believe that you will continue to do some good things.’ I want to let others know what they are doing is noticed – I want to give them a little motivation to continue to make an impact.”
Ms. Price continues to do good things in her position as director of the Diversity Foundation, a full-time job she accepted while she was a non-traditional student in the BSW program and as she worked through her MSW education. She pursues her profession with flexibility, yielding, and, of course, impact. “Like water,” she notes. “Water can be gentle or devastating; either way it will alter even the hardest of stones because nothing can withstand it. Water is our life’s force.” She attributes her “professional wealth and happiness” largely to the work she does through the Foundation with the youth and families who have left FLDS polygamist communities. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am today and find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that what I do, in a world of sensitive dependence (the ‘butterfly effect’), has the potential of making a positive impact.”
Impact is the prevailing theme for Ms. Price and her gift to the College is really an extension of that. “That’s the essence of social work isn’t it, ‘impact’?” she asks. Often, the gifts people make in their wills allow them to use their estates for contributions well beyond what they could achieve with their day-to-day resources. For Ms. Price, it is about more than the monetary value of the contribution, however. “This planned gift ensures that someone else will realize the positive potential of their impact and continue that work.”