“Social work chose me,” – David Schultz

Being a social worker is an often challenging yet rewarding career. Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives and seek to improve the quality of life for individuals and to effect system-wide change through the pursuit of social justice.
Just like other helping professions such as nursing and teaching, social work seeks to help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges.
Trying every day to make a difference in people’s lives is 27-year-old David Schultz, a Probation and Social Services Officer who works with the Social Protection Ministry’s Probation Department in Region Two.
David’s first choice of career was not social work but business. Before he applied to further his studies at the University of Guyana, he had an encounter with former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clinton Conway that changed his life and as a result, David chose social work as his career path.
“I always felt like social work chose me and not the other way around. I really didn’t face any challenges getting into the field of social work as I had all three of my study choices accepted by the University of Guyana and I choose social work above all,” he noted.
Born in the ancient county of Berbice in the small but vibrant village of Edderton on the West Coast, David is the last of six children for his hardworking parents. His parents had the challenge of providing for six children, ensuring that they had what was necessary growing up even though at times they did not always get what they wanted.
“As a child, I attended the Cotton Tree Primary School and after writing the Common Entrance Exams, I gained a place at the Bush Lot Secondary School. During these times, I struggled miserably; nevertheless, my father always encouraged me to do my best in everything. After writing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Exams I gained five subjects including Mathematics and English.”
David claims that social work changed his life, and he loves and enjoys being a social worker.
“To make a difference in someone’s life can make you feel amazing, because you know you made an impact, a change in a person’s life and they are way better off now than they were before thus making the world a better place.
“Social work changed my life. It is a life-changing field that gives caregivers the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives especially those going through a crisis. I love and enjoy being a social worker; at the end of the day personally, it feels good knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life, and as a result of what I did, someone is better off,” David stated.
Social workers usually deal with neglect, abuse, domestic violence, mental health, behavioural and emotional issues and these are factors which contribute to social problems in Guyana and every other place in the world.
David Shultz is one of those many persons who make a change every day in this world to make it a safe environment. Helping individuals who are vulnerable to social problems is what social workers do but yet many people do not understand or have knowledge of the contribution social workers make daily to society and this results in them being often undervalued.
The most interesting experience David has had in the field of social work was when he was able to help and empower a woman who had been experiencing domestic violence for years and as a result, his intervention made a difference and she is doing much better now.
“Working as a social worker can be very demanding at times, as it requires caregivers to put that client’s needs above their at times; as a result of this, many stressors may arise from work.
Personally, I usually spend as much time as possible to irrigate my life every day, to avoid the heaviness that may arise from work that can overwhelm me. I love walking and enjoying nature, and being socially active helps as all help me in dealing stressors as well.”
For David, at the end of the day, all he wants is for people to be happy and united despite their differences.
“My advice for anyone entering the profession as a social worker is to do it, because you love it and is passionate about creating change in society. It’s not always about the money, but the feeling you get knowing you made a difference in someone’s life.”