By: Alicia Sands Lurry
In celebration of Social Workers Month, Atlanta Public Schools recently honored Latanya Farrar, school social worker at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, as the 2015-2016 APS Social Worker of the Year. Held on Friday, March 18, the luncheon featured keynote speaker and former Atlanta Public Schools board member Brenda Muhammad. This year’s theme was “Forging Solutions Out of Challenges.”
For Farrar, being a school social worker is the fulfillment of a higher calling. That’s because she can’t imagine anything other than assisting students in reaching their full potential.
“School social workers display resilience daily when we are met with an avalanche of concerns the moment we arrive on campus,” said Farrar, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from Georgia State University. “Often, it’s the student who is hungry or the student who arrived at school without a much-needed coat. As school social workers, we are often overwhelmed and sometimes overlooked but we forge ahead because we are resilient. I feel extremely proud to be a school social worker daily serving the students and families of Atlanta Public Schools.”
A 15-year veteran school social worker for Atlanta Public Schools, Farrar was recognized for her tireless service to the students and families of Atlanta Public Schools, where she currently serves middle and high school students at CSKYWLA. Having served numerous schools throughout the district at all levels, Farrar currently serves as the cluster leader. Her work experience includes high risk adoption placement, victim witness advocacy, crisis intervention, case management and suicide prevention.
In the summer of 2016, Farrar will begin pursuing her social work certification in gerontology. She is a certified trainer in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) and Sources of Strength, two emergency response and suicide prevention techniques; and mental health first aid.
“Being selected as the 2016 School Social Worker of the Year is both humbling and an honor,” she said.