Why I Give
Hannah Powers, BSW ’15, MSSW ‘18
Hannah Powers didn’t wait to graduate to start giving back. She donated during the university-wide annual campaign, 40 Hours for the Forty Acres, while she was still in the master’s program. Her donation went to the SWAN scholarship fund.
“I saw that the funds were going to initiatives that made it possible for me and my peers to succeed. Even though I wasn’t able to contribute much, I wanted to help make sure that someone else could have those same experiences,” Powers said. She has made a yearly tradition of donating to the school during the annual campaign.
Powers is now a social worker with the Professional Recovery Network, a peer-assistance monitoring program for healthcare professionals who are experiencing mental health and substance-use issues.
“I never imagined myself working in the field of addictions,” Powers said. “While in the program, I tailored my education to geriatric and medical social work. But my knowledge on these two fields has been such an advantage in supporting my clients with an individualized, successful recovery program.”
Why Your Support Matters
Brooke Bernard, Emily and Don Jackson Endowment for Excellence in Juvenile Justice, 2019 and 2020 recipient
Brooke Bernard is a senior social work major from Port Arthur, Texas. She grew up in a loving home with her mother and two sisters, but experienced the loss of an older sister and the effects of living in an area with few resources. These adversities not only ignited her passion for social work but have been a driving force for her success on the Forty Acres.
Bernard is an Honors student finishing a senior thesis on juvenile justice. She was elected to serve as the 2019-2020 BSW representative for the NASW Texas Board, co-facilitates writing workshops with incarcerated youth at Giddings State School, and attended a Maymester in London.
She plans to use her social work degree to make a difference in the educational system, help prevent the school-to-prison pipeline, and influence social policy on juvenile justice.
Bernard is grateful for the Emily and Don Jackson scholarship, which has alleviated her financial concerns and allowed her to continue her education and study abroad.
“I have invested so much in obtaining a college degree; giving up was not an option,” Bernard said. “Thank you so much for having a heart to give.”
Steve Hicks Matching Challenge
Steve Hicks likes to say that the real secret of being a philanthropist is that you receive much more than what you give. Because he wants others to share in the joy of giving to social work, he has issued a $5 million matching challenge to create endowed scholarships.
The rules are as follows:
- Give or pledge $50,000 or more (to be completed within 5 years).
- Steve Hicks will match the amount.
- Your name — or that of a family member, friend or organization — will be linked forever to scholarly excellence at The University of Texas at Austin.
To participate, visit the Steve Hicks Matching Challenge website or call 512-475-6840.