Palm Beach NASW-FL Student of the YearWednesday, Apr 13, 2022
Caidin Smith, Sandler School MSW candidate, was recently named Student of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Palm Beach County unit. He is in his final semester of the Master of Social Work program.
“I consider this award not just a recognition of my own accomplishments, but of the MSW program as a whole, because without the support of my professors, the faculty, and my peers at FAU, I would not be where I am today,” Smith said.
Smith serves on the NASW Florida LGBTQ+ Taskforce and works with Equality Florida to promote education and advocacy for equality among LGBTQ youth. He also serves on the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee; volunteers as a course proctor for Social Work Professional Development; and received grant funding through the Center for Peace, Justice & Human Rights at FAU to facilitate two mask-making, identity-exploration events with more than 100 FAU students.
When Smith first began his graduate studies, his history of social anxiety and depression led him to doubt his chances for success.
“My major fear was that I would get so overwhelmed with anxiety that I would end up spiraling into a major depressive episode,” Smith said. “I channeled that fear into motivation, knowing that I would be able to relate to many people who felt similarly and help them through challenging times. I hope winning this award shows other trans and gender-diverse individuals that there is hope, despite so many obstacles."