Making an Impact

Sharrell Hibbler, MSW 2008, always dreamed of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing her undergraduate degree in sociology, she decided that social work was the best match for her professional goals. Choosing the Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change concentration was a natural fit with her interests of research, community organizing, and social entrepreneurship and leadership.

An accomplished student and a natural leader, Sharrell was selected for the Social Work Education Opportunity Award in 2007 and 2008.  Given to a full-time student, this award provides support to talented students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Sharrell put her award to work and used it to assist with expenses while she completed her field placement with the Illinois Department for Children and Family Services. While there, she started a new school-based program for girls called GYRL TYME. “GYRL TYME has helped me to further strengthen my commitment and responsibility for advocating and empowering disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Receiving the Educational Opportunity Award helped me to keep the focus on my educational and professional goals, without the stress of financial worries.”

Sharrell currently serves as a Special Project Manager of the Illinois DCFS offices in Chicago.  She also serves as a representative to the Statewide Foster Care Advisory Council and as a staff member of Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board. Sharrell carries on the tradition of giving back to the School of Social Work by helping to create professional and social programs and services for recent School of Social Work alumni in the greater Chicago area.