Sophia Franklin, LCSW received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Mississippi State University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently works at Mercy Care in Atlanta Georgia as the Behavioral Health Coordinator.
Sophia always knew she wanted to help others, but was unsure what form that would take. She first remembers leading and managing a crisis at ten years old after being involved in a car accident. Sophia recalls wanting to help calm everyone down and reminding her family of the silver lining; no one got hurt. In college, she wanted to become a physical therapist, until it was dissection day. One of her professors inspired her to pursue social work, and she has continued excelling along that path since.
Today, society is increasingly becoming more aware of the value of social workers and those working in behavioral health. When Sophia first started working in social work, many people were not invested in the field. It was difficult for her to find internships and many people did not know the variety of career opportunities that existed. Sophia pressed on despite the barriers because she knew social work would allow her to impact society.
Sophia would not make any changes if she could start her career over again. She feels that everything has been divinely ordained and worked out as it should. Each situation has helped sharpen her skills and prepared her for the future. Achieving goals, no matter the size keep Sophia motivated. Her family and the desire to help them have a comfortable life also inspire her. The impact that she can have on a client’s lives motivates her daily.
Sophia has a plethora of memories and stories about clients that have affected her personally. She remarked that “each client has taught me more about myself as a clinician and person.” Sophia recommends always putting the clients first. In the past, she hasn’t taken no for an answer when it comes to what’s best for her clients. Her drive prompted her to be fearless and innovative.
Sophia told a story about a client who shall be called “Jim”. Jim always made sure that Sophia said hello every time they saw each other. When he passed away, Sophia was devastated. However, she was happy she was able to provide solace for his family. She helped the family in setting up a service, and there is still a plaque today at her former workplace in memory of Jim.
If you have the opportunity to work with Sophia, expect to feel comfortable as if you have known her forever. While she no longer has a couch in her office, in the past coworkers and clients would come sit down on her couch to discuss their problems. Sophia welcomes vulnerability. She strives to be a laid back leader and values open communication, transparency, and honesty.
Nurturing and caregiving came naturally to Sophia, even before she had two children of her own. She wants all caregivers to remember that they have to take care of themselves as well. Sophia knows for those in the helping profession self-care often comes last. She wishes there was a class offered for social work students on self-care to teach people how to manage stressful situations.
To take care of herself, Sophia enjoys watching reality television to relax. It is a time for her to unwind and doesn’t require thinking or processing. Her son’s, Stokely and Langston as well as her nephew, Tristan and niece, Nyla keep her smiling. One day she would love to take a trip to see the beauty of Hawaii.
Sophia encourages future leaders to:
Always… remember employees are people first.
Never… discredit someone’s idea.
Follow… your heart. Also, think about how you would like to be treated, and treat others in that manner.
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