Cardinal Service Commitment Award
Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Carmelina Gilberto
Carmelina Gilberto, a senior social work major, received an undergraduate student Cardinal Service Commitment Award. The award was presented by The Catholic University of America on April 10, 2012, in celebration of the University's 125th anniversary.
Gilberto contributed 844 hours of service to the anniversary initiative. Her volunteer service consisted mainly of clinical hours through the National Catholic School of Social Service providing social work services at the National Rehabilitation Hospital for patients who have had a spinal cord injury. She also served as an Orientation adviser assisting first-year students.
Gilberto's internship has been an opportunity to experience service in an intensive medical setting. “First semester I was working with the floating manager, so I was able to gain experience working with stroke patients, brain injured patients, spinal cord injured patients, cardiac patients, and orthopedic patients. Currently, I am working solely with spinal cord injured patients, which has allowed me to get to know each patient on a more personal level,” she said.
GIlberto, of Annapolis, Md., is a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Social Workers, vice president of the Bachelor of Arts Social Service Organization, co-leader for the service organization Brookland Outreach, and an intern at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Previously, Gilberto interned at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, and served as a D.C. Reads team leader, a Mission Jamaica team leader, and Jumpstart's volunteer coordinator.
The Brookland Outreach team Gilberto co-leads plans two main events during the year: Halloween on Campus and Spring into CUA. "These events help bring in children and families from the surrounding community to help foster a safe, fun environment," GIlberto said.
Gilberto plans to stay involved in social work and hopes to do international service. “I would like to work in Guyana in South America or Tanzania in Africa. Regardless, I will definitely continue to dedicate my life to social work, because I view helping others as a vocation, not a job,” she said.