Each year, the University of Washington carefully selects students for the celebrated Husky 100 cohort. Chosen because of the way they engage challenges with passion and creativity, UW students are evaluated on how well they find connections between what they learn in the classroom and their practical experience. The Husky 100 are committed to inclusive community and seeking engagement with diverse communities. Through partnership and service, they work toward a more just and equitable world. These students are leaders, mentors, and teachers; they partner with others to make a difference in their communities as they put the needs of others ahead of their own. Undeterred by the risk of failure, the Husky 100 pursue their goals with savvy and fortitude.
Husky 100 honorees Ellie Greenberg and Taylor Ingram are students in the School of Social Work and superb examples of each of these qualities. As evidenced by their partnerships with the communities where their experiences and passion are most needed, they are each committed to making an impactful difference in the lives of others. We congratulate these two outstanding students on being chosen for the Husky 100 cohort and we are immensely proud to have them representing the School of Social Work.
Ellie Greenberg has enjoyed her journey of growth and self-discovery while earning her master’s degree in community-centered integrative practice in the Master of Social Work program. She gained experience in the field of gender-based violence by working as a legal advocate at a domestic violence agency, interning for a sexual violence prevention team, and serving in a leadership role supporting survivors of assault.
With time also spent volunteering at Seattle’s Holocaust Museum, Greenberg’s focus on positive social impact and violence prevention has been greatly influenced by her grandparents and their legacy of survival. “I do not remember the first time I saw the number branded on my grandfather’s arm,” Greenberg said. “I do remember the trip my family took to Europe to retrace our roots. In a village in Slovakia, my grandmother showed us the home where she was hidden as a child. In Poland, my grandfather brought us to his hometown where he was transported to Auschwitz.”
Greenberg’s grandfather knew the importance of educating others about his story and the extreme perils of hate and discrimination. Her grandparents' resilience and determination in not only surviving the Holocaust, but also in building a family and a life afterwards instilled in her a deep sense of responsibility to work towards preventing violence of any form.
When she is educating youth about healthy relationships and oppressions, Greenberg’s goal is to inspire them to take action in their communities when they witness any type of harmful speech or actions. “In this work, both in honoring my grandparents and educating to prevent gender-based violence, I find a deeper connection to my identity and my purpose.”
As a former professional and collegiate athlete, Greenberg is also passionate about empowering youth through sports. She will continue her graduate studies next year, pursuing her interests in social work and sports at UW’s Center for Leadership in Athletics. As a Master of Education candidate, she hopes to learn the tools and resources necessary to leverage the power of sports for positive social impact.
“I am grateful to those who have supported and mentored me and honored to be recognized as part of the Husky 100 cohort,” said Greenberg. “UW has provided me with the opportunities, skills, and confidence to pursue and expand my passions.”
Taylor Ingram is graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and is currently completing her practicum at Teen Feed, where nutritious meals are provided every day of the year to houseless youth. After beginning her journey there as a volunteer, Ingram now partners with this community and connects them with empowering services.
As part of her work in the undergrad Honors Program, Ingram is conducting research on identifying gaps for young people in transition services after the age of 25. She leads an outreach activity every week, where youth are connected with various services throughout the city of Seattle.
“I’ve had a very humbling experience,” Ingram said. “It has been life-changing to build relationships, connect with these young folks and see their goodness. When they trust me, it’s easier for them to tell me when they need services, and I can follow up with them and direct them to resources.”
Ingram has had struggles of her own, giving her empathy for the challenges of others. Her commitment to young people experiencing mental health challenges was inspired by the kindness shown to her by those in the Social Work program at UW. “I had been out of school for over a decade when I started at UW, and I almost didn’t make it through the BASW program. I was given a second chance by the social workers that advise, run, and teach in the Social Welfare program. I knew then that I wanted to always look for good in people, even if they may not see it in themselves.”
Now working at Crisis Connections in addition to Teen Feed, Ingram is helping those who struggle with mental health to connect with services. “My experience in the BASW program sparked my focus on lifelong learning — there are so many avenues of social work that I would like to be a part of.”
When asked what she would want others to know about houseless youth, Ingram said “Try to take preconceived notions out of the picture and just be kind, because everyone is doing their best.”