As a third-generation US Army veteran, Frank Harvey Laskowitz, Class of 2021, understands service. And he knew he wanted a career continuing to work for the good of others. When preparing to leave the Army, Frank spoke to an Army social worker about the transition out of the military. “He told me about his work, and he was one of the happiest people I’d ever met,” says Frank. The experience stuck with him and inspired him to pursue social work himself. “I still think about his energy and wonder if he would be proud of me for following in his footsteps.”
Finding Silver Through CCTOP
After spending four years in the service, Frank enrolled at Kingsborough Community College. Then, he transferred to the NYU Silver School of Social Work with the support of the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP) and the G.I. Bill. He credits CCTOP with helping him build a community at NYU as a nontraditional student. At 28 years old, Frank has been married to his high school sweetheart for six years and is the father of two little girls. “The program allowed me to connect with other NYU students who were in similar situations as mine,” he says. And it helped him find one of his best friends at NYU, another CCTOP participant who was in many of his courses. “Being able to feel comfortable in my classes and make friends really made me feel like I belonged here at NYU.”
An Internship with Real-Life Experience
At Silver Frank took his classroom learning and applied it immediately to the real world during his field internship at AHRC New York City, an organization serving people with developmental disabilities. The internship allowed him to “see things through a social work lens for the first time and actually make a difference,” he says. “I grew as a leader and learned to lead groups with confidence. I am very proud of the work I did there and the lasting impact it has had on the people I supported, who are now living more independent lives.” The internship offered him the opportunity to put his skills to the test and practice all he’d learned in the classroom. All while making a lasting impact on his clients’ lives.
A Future in the Field
Since graduating last May, Frank has been pursuing his master’s degree in Social Work at Silver. After completing his degree this spring, he intends to reenlist in order to become an Army social worker, just like the man who inspired his journey, or continue to work at AHRC New York City. “This is why I love social work: the options are endless,” says Frank. “Plus, NYU really gives you the tools you need and the confidence that you can do anything you set your mind to.”