Finding words to appropriately convey my gratitude and utmost respect for Carlene Quinn, during my Indiana University School of Social Work undergraduate career, is a monumental task. Simply, there is no single word; and even the most cherished words of affirmation, could not truly describe my gratitude and reflect what is felt by the heart. The most predominant word I do associate with Carlene is “unconditional”. Why? I can feel that word when I describe Carlene. That warm and safe word had one of the greatest influences in my life. Unconditional support empowers the recipient to see the good in themselves. This support shaped me, evolved me, and vastly encouraged me. Even at times when I felt unworthy and embarrassed by my own rogue choices, she never left, but rather stayed by my side. I could be most vulnerable, but it did not matter to her what shortcoming I felt I had, I had her unconditional support.
If you ask yourself, what kind of person gives you their time and undoubted encouragement, for no reason other than to see you succeed? And, that very person helps you see what you need to build yourself up, to be the best you can be. To think of what kind of a person can inspire you to try harder when you feel like giving up? “Selfless” seems to fall a bit short in describing her caring nature, but it paints a good picture of what I am trying to explain. It is all because she did care, not because she had to. All because she believed in me. –Sumiko Shuminsky, 2008