Every year there are students who overcome immense odds to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. Glenna Boston Esq. was once a “non-traditional” student who did just that.
Beginning her undergraduate studies at Winthrop University, Glenna pursued a collegiate career in athletics. However, due to a tragic life event, her collegiate career took an unforeseen detour and was quickly placed in jeopardy. This situation severely limited her options to continue her education, despite being an intelligent and talented student. Struggling to gain admission, she decided to search for other options. This inevitably led Glenna to the Lifelong Learner Program offered at NC State University. This program aimed to help students prepare themselves for success in their educational pursuits, regardless of their academic history.
After completing several successful semesters in the Lifelong Learner Program, Glenna was eventually admitted into NC State University with the support of faculty and staff. According to Mrs. Boston, ”NC State, especially the Department of Social Work, really took an interest in me as a person and not just as a number…State took the time to help me when other schools wouldn’t even touch me.” Glenna Boston would go on to represent her peers as a student representative on the NASW-NC Board of Directors, participate in the Child Welfare Collaborative, and complete her Bachelor of Social Work in just two and a half years with honors.
Following her graduation from NC State, Glenna took a job in therapeutic foster care and then in Child Protective Services. It was in this setting she would find her true calling. “From my experiences in the courtroom [while working for CPS] I was inspired to help these families, because I knew I could provide them with the help they needed.” Soon after, Glenna Boston took the LSAT and began her education in law at North Carolina Central University. While in law school, Glenna focused on combining her social work background with law to better serve families in need. Through educating social workers and law students alike, Glenna sought to make a difference. “Beginning when I was still in law school, I taught social workers the legal implications of their practice. Then, I taught law students about family-centered practice to help them understand the dynamics of that particular courtroom.”
Since she began practicing law, Glenna Boston has continued to support social workers and serve families. Mrs. Boston has conducted numerous training sessions for NASW-NC, Area Health Education Centers, and various other organizations. According to her, “[I feel passionate about] educating non-social workers in a format that they can understand…I am convinced that social workers are not the only ones who are going to be able to change some of our broken systems. So, by creating educational environments and using the tools we’re given as social workers, we can effectuate systemic change.”
Today, Glenna Boston continues to pursue many of the initiatives previously mentioned. She has returned to the NC State University Department of Social Work as a lecturer to give back to her alma mater and educate the next generation of social workers.