Hairston enjoys job and major in social work at Delta State

Published 6:00 am Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Lafayette County graduate is chasing her dreams of helping people while making her mark academically.

Mariah Hairston is majoring in social work at Delta State University. She was announced as one of five Lafayette County graduates on the Delta State University President’s List just before she began her internship at a nursing home this semester in the Mississippi Delta.

“Outside of the books and classrooms, I am getting the experience of a social worker in the real world, hands-on. It is fun, and I’m enjoying it.”

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Hairston graduated high school while being involved in sports and academia. She played basketball, volleyball and was on the track team. Additionally, she was on the Yearbook Committee and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, which promotes scholarship, enjoyment and understanding of mathematics.

Since then, Hairston realized she made the right school choice for her.

“After visiting the campus of Delta State, I realized this was the place for me,” she said. “Everyone here is friendly and willing to help in any way, and it’s a small campus.”

Hairston decided to major in social work because she wants to help people. She wants to change the world for the better in her future profession.

Hairston said she was nervous at first, but she realizes the importance of what she is learning.

“As a social worker, you’re going to get pulled in 10 different directions all at once during the majority of the day, so you have to maintain balance and keep your composure,” Hairston said.

She is now in her first month and already loves it. Her favorite part is actually working with an experienced social worker and the chance to work hands-on.

Hairston credits her success in school to prayer, hard work and to encouraging professors and parents.

“I’m a hard-worker, and I tend to push myself harder than I will allow anyone else to push me,” she said. “My professors told me that my senior year was going to be a tough year, and that is, in fact, true. It’s not what helped me to be successful this year, it’s who; my parents have always been my biggest supporters, and just like any other school year, they have helped me be successful this year in school as well. They’re encouraging words are what keep me going!”

She said she is still learning and growing within this agency.

“This is one of the best nursing homes I’ve been in,” Hairston said.