Maxine Amaru 'blazes trails' on her inspirational journey to graduation

Monday, May 6, 2024
woman stands in front of CA capital building

She’s a mom, grandmother, first-generation non-traditional transfer student, and an award-winning senior. If that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she is involved in a wide array of student, community, and volunteer organizations.

And, she somehow fits in fun activities by regularly participating in the 40+ Double Dutch Club. — a community group that empowers women through social activities.

Nothing stops San Diego native Maxine Amaru, on her journey to graduation, summa cum laude, with a degree in Africana Studies plus a minor in social work. 

Amaru is on a mission. Her ultimate educational and career goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in pursuit of a career with San Diego County's Child Welfare Services. “‘I am a natural born social worker, counselor, mentor, and teacher by nature,” Amaru said.” I love to support, help, and assist anyone in need.” 

Since August 2021, Amaru has been involved in SDSU student organizations that include the Black Social Work Association (BSWA), where she was 2023-24 president. She also was the treasurer of the Social Workers of Color Student Coalition (SWC). Amaru has been involved with the Black Resource Center (BRC), Harold K. Brown - Knowledge, Education, Empowerment Program (HB KEEP), Black Transfer Student (BTSS), and others.

For more than a decade she has been involved in community and volunteer organizations such as Gangs Be Gone, a nonprofit group offering children workshops on how to stay away from gang life, and House of Hope, a homeless shelter for single women and their children.. She also volunteered with and was a student member of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) with whom she recently attended the “Legislative Lobby Days” conference held in Sacramento at the state capitol. 

To add to her long list of scholarship awards, in 2024 she was awarded two Department of Africana Studies scholarships: the Shirley Wade Thomas Memorial Scholarship, developed in honor of a professor in the Afro-American Studies department from 1972 until her death in 1988; and, the Danny Scarborough Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the founder, choreographer, and director of the SDSU Black Repertory Total Theatrical Experience from 1977 to 1987. 

The first to graduate from college, Amaru said, “I’m blazing trails in my family.”

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