Maya Wahrman, a student in the Rutgers School of Social Work Intensive Weekend MSW Program, recently developed an educational video providing early childhood interventions for refugee children living in New Jersey. Her video builds on the social justice history and international credibility of Sesame Street, which pioneered in 1969 as an interracial vision and educational tool for kids in impoverished urban environments.
“I created a Sesame-style intervention for refugee children living in New Jersey (served by the refugee resettlement agency Interfaith-RISE) using their languages, a sense of shared cultural community, and the power of singing,” says Wahrman. “The video also addresses coping with worry about loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sesame Street universe and specific social impact interventions are a wonderful example of social work in action, combining micro direct service interventions with a widespread accessible advocacy campaign that promotes a vision of global inclusivity and social justice.”
Wahrman is currently the Director of Case Management and Refugee School Impact Coordinator at Interfaith-RISE refugee resettlement agency in Highland Park, New Jersey. As part of her field education for her MSW degree, she also provides telehealth counseling at Church-Based Mental Health Services. She served as a 2020-2021 Eagleton Graduate Fellow conducting her spring governmental internship at the Office of New Americans in the Department of Health and Human Services. She graduated summa cum laude in 2016 from the History Department at Princeton University with certificates in near eastern studies and creative writing. She is a published writer and poet, as well as a singer and amateur salsa dancer.