Social work students launch fundraising campaign: Pocket Change for Social Change

Goal: Ask 1 million people to give at least $1

  • Feb. 26, 2016


INDIANAPOLIS -- As a first step to establishing a legacy that will benefit Indiana University School of Social Work students for years to come, the Bachelor of Social Work Student Association at IUPUI will launch its "Pocket Change for Social Change" campaign on Tuesday, March 1. The students have set a goal of asking 1 million people to give at least $1.

The funds will be used to provide scholarships to social work students on all IU campuses.  

Tapping into a passionate belief in their profession that has been a hallmark of the social work program at IU that traces its roots to 1911, the students said they want to create scholarships that will help other students following in their footsteps to become social workers.

"Social workers advocate for people in almost every area of society," said Amanda Bajzatt, who will graduate with her BSW degree in May. "They make a real difference in the world. Whether counseling a client, advocating for the vulnerable, creating policies to help individuals or organizing social movements, social workers are a key component for social change everywhere."

For some students, though, the costs of their education can be overwhelming as they try to juggle working full- or part-time, school, internships, family commitments, or something as basic as paying the heating bill. Some students may decide they will have to put their dream of helping others on hold.

Bajzatt said she knows that only too well. For 10 years after she graduated from high school, she wanted to continue her education, but neither she nor her family had the resources to make that happen. It was only after her father was awarded a veterans disability claim that she became eligible to receive some financial assistance.

When asked why she chose to be involved in this campaign, Bajzatt said, "I am a first-generation graduate. Growing up, education was not talked about and was viewed as a pipe dream. It was expected that I would finish high school, get married and work for what I needed. I have had every reason in the book to give up on my educational journey over the years."

"In my heart, I believe education allows us to become our dreams and even more," Bajzatt continued. "The person I am today, because of my educational experiences and opportunities, is a person I could not have even imagined I could become. I want this to be the possibility for everyone. I know the struggle, and I want future students to know that it is possible to push through and make their dreams reality."  

Can the students reach their goal of finding 1 million supporters?

Reaching the goal of finding 1 million supporters will be challenging, Bajzatt said. "But you never know what you can accomplish until you try," she added. "As a social worker, you don't always fight the battles that can be won. You fight the battles that need to be fought."

For information about how to donate to Pocket Change for Social Change, visit the website or contact Amanda Bajzatt at or School of Social Work faculty member Carolyn Gentle Genitty at

The social work students will provide information about the campaign at the Campus Center from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 1.

Pocket Change for Social Change

Pocket Change for Social Change

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Richard Schneider
Robert Schneider