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UNF senior receives the Albert Ernest Jr. Caring Award

UNF student Teleauba Revels inside the UNF libraryTeleauba Revels is a senior social work major graduating in May. The Illinois native is a recent recipient of the Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award. The Caring Award recognizes a UNF student who embodies the spirit of caring, volunteerism and humanitarianism. She focuses her professional interests in medical social work practice with older adults. The proud Osprey credits the faculty and administration on campus for providing her with invaluable guidance, assistance and mentorship in and outside the classroom.

Why did you choose UNF?
As a nontraditional student with a meaningful career and family, attending college locally was important to me. I ultimately chose UNF over an online program because of its reputable social work program, flexible class schedule and the many resources available to all students.

What has been your most enjoyable experience at UNF?
I attended Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) at the State Capitol in Tallahassee with my professors, peers and other social work students from around the state. We met with legislators to advocate for policies that reflect the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics and had the opportunity to sit in on House and Senate Committee meetings. It was a valuable and unique learning experience!

How were you selected to win the Albert Ernest Jr. Caring Award and who nominated you?
I was nominated by Dr. Jasmine Haynes, assistant professor of social work. I was selected largely because of my volunteer involvement with the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition. In addition to actively serving on their Board of Directors, I have volunteered hundreds of hours to events and various programs under the Healthy Start umbrella since 2015. Having been on the receiving end of volunteerism and community service throughout my life, I know how meaningful their impact can be which is why I give back in all the ways that I do.

What’s your favorite place on campus and why?
I appreciate the dining hall so much. As a wife and mother, I cook quite a bit. It’s a treat to go there and enjoy a wide selection of delicious foods prepared by someone else and not have to wash the dishes. The staff is welcoming and efficient. It’s also a great place to connect with my friends between classes.

What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in?
Since my junior year, I’ve served as the BSW representative on the Student Advisory Council. As such, I communicate and exchange ideas, information and the concerns of my peers with faculty and vice versa. It’s a pleasure to serve the social work student body and ensure they have a voice in the development of policies and processes that better our university community.

Have you taken advantage of any student services?
Definitely! I utilize fitness classes and other services at the Student Wellness Complex, private study rooms at the library and have enlisted the help of the Writing Center many times.

Have you had any internships secured through UNF?
Yes, currently at ElderSource, an aging and disability resource center. As an intern with their caregiver support program, I work with individuals caring for their loved ones. Through a thorough assessment, I identify their stressors and create personalized care plans to address the root causes of their burnout.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The advice my mother gave me when I was a teenager, “You are not a product of your environment. You are a product of your decisions.” It reminds me that regardless of circumstances or challenges I may face, through the decisions I make, I have the power to choose my path and shape my destiny.

What is fun fact about you many people may not know?
I self-identify as a person in long-term recovery from substance abuse. On April 16, 2024, I will celebrate 11 years clean.