Meet Ellie: 2017 Social Work Scholarship Winner and International Mental Health Advocate


It's time for Social Work Degree Guide to announce our Fall 2017 recipient of the Social Work Scholarship, Ellie Adelman! We've proudly granted $2,000 to help fund her completion of the CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work at the University of Denver. While studying full-time, Ellie is interning at the African Community Center (ACC) to organize social-emotional health initiatives for single mothers and refugee families adjusting to Colorado. Ranked in the top one percent of her class, she's also juggling a part-time research assistantship to afford tuition. Ellie aspires to become a LMSW and develop macro-level interventions that nurture the strength and resiliency of survivors of violent conflict.

Driven by a lifelong passion for community service, Ellie Adelman began her career at Salisbury University with a B.A. in Conflict Analysis & Dispute Resolution and a B.A. in Spanish. Here she regularly volunteered as a Maryland-certified community mediator at the Dr. Phil Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution. Her education continued to the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated with the M.A. in International Peace Studies. Ellie worked in the Kroc Institute with Dr. Larissa Fast, the author of Aid in Danger, to research violence against humanitarian workers overseas. In 2011, she also presented "Waking up the Past" at Notre Dame's Annual Student Peace Conference.

Supporting Global Citizens Traumatized by Conflict and Disaster

Ellie Adelman has 13 years of experience responding to human needs in war-torn, resource-poor communities worldwide. She volunteered with Manav Sadhna, an Indian NGO, to coordinate urban leadership camps for children and teens from Ahmedabad's biggest slum. Starting in 2007, Ellie worked in Gambia as a health educator for the Peace Corps. There, she conducted a community needs assessment and carried out development projects in a village of 450 people. She spearheaded West Africa's first Volunteer Support Network to train fellow Corps members too. Next, Ellie interned with the AIDS Support Organization to provide HIV and mental health services for Ugandan villages devastated by the "Lord's Resistance Army."

Since returning to the U.S., Ellie has carried on her efforts by acting as the International Engagement Manager for Women & Girls Lead Global. She collaborated with directors in Kenya, Jordan, Bangladesh, India, and Peru to empower social change. Her team produced media-driven campaigns that helped improve gender equality, decrease domestic violence, and reduce child marriages. Her well-respected publications include the Girl Connected Engagement Toolkit and Hero Academy Program Curriculum for GBV prevention. Ellie simultaneously volunteered with The Kitchen, a San Francisco-based Jewish congregation, to organize education sessions tying Torah study to contemporary social action.

To the Social Work Degree Guide staff, it's clear Ellie Adelman goes above and beyond to advocate for social justice in marginalized communities. We're honored to lend financial aid to such an intelligent, enthusiastic practitioner working to develop sustainable therapy programs in regions of mass trauma. Our committee was impressed by Ellie's commitment to remove the global stigma of mental illness and heal survivors facing seemingly impossible odds. We're pleased that our funding will offset tuition costs to help her continue her generous work across borders. Congratulations, Ellie!

Inspired by Ellie's Peace Building Work Abroad? Apply for 2018!

We're calling all incoming and current social work majors to enter the running for the next $2,000 SWDG Scholarship cycle kicking off in Spring. Mark April 15th on your calendar if you need extra cash to afford training for professional social work practice at any accredited U.S. university. We look forward to hearing about your domestic or international experience helping the most vulnerable people thrive. Head here to download the scholarship application, and you could be our next lucky winner.