NCSSS is proud of our alumni who enter the profession with a strong desire to help people and make a difference in their communities, nation, and world.  We are excited to highlight  some of these alumni and the social work they are doing to address a variety of challenges - homelessness, economic inequality, systemic racism, improved health and mental health care, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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      Christy Respress

      Since 2017, homelessness in the United States has steadily increased. Stagnant wages for workers, a lack of affordable housing, and a pandemic have all contributed to roughly 30,000 more Americans experiencing homelessness. And according to, no state has a higher Homelessness Per 10,000 Americans than here in Washington D.C. At the core of NCSSS is our motto “Turning Mercy Into Action” so to learn more about this topic we interviewed NCSSS Alumni and Executive Director of Pathways to Housing DC Christy Respress.

      You can read her recent article on the topic in the Washington Post here. 


      Lauren Reliford

      Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Lauren Reliford believes that attending NCSSS was a plan God had for her. A 2021 Masters Graduate, Lauren is the political director for SoJourners here in D.C. We interviewed her to discuss the role God plays in her life, her work, and her time here at Catholic University.

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      Stephen Schneck:

      Stephen Schneck, a prominent Catholic political activist and academic, has been appointed by President Joe Biden to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a federal government panel dedicated to protecting religious minorities and other persecuted groups abroad. Formerly an associate professor at The Catholic University of America (CUA), where he was the was chair of the Department of Politics from 1995 to 2007 and Acting Undergraduate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences in 1988. From 2012 to 2013, he was appointed as the Acting Dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service at Catholic University. We interviewed him to learn more about the Commission, his time at NCSSS, and what makes NCSSS students so special.

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      Dr.  Salome Raheim:

      At the age of 20, Salome Raheim applied for a Master's degree in Social Work at the National Catholic School of Social Service. In a few short years, she obtained her MSW, went on to work in the community mental health field, received a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa, and became the first African American woman to hold a deanship at the UConn School of Social Work. Dr. Raheim is an inspiring NCSSS graduate whose advocacy for the inclusion of integrative mind-body-spirit approaches in education and human services continues to push the boundaries of the social work profession. Below is a recent interview we conducted with Dr. Raheim about her life, career, and her advice for current NCSSS students. 

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      Cheryl Aguilar:

      Cheryl Aguilar is a licensed independent clinical social worker with over two decades of experience in the public and private sectors. She is the founder and therapist at Hope Center for Wellness, a multicultural mental health practice focused on holistic healing. in 2023, Cheryl was named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers DC/VA chapter for her commitment to excellence in the social work profession. In 2019, she was selected by Social Work Today magazine as 1 of 10 dedicated and deserving social workers making an extraordinary impact across the country. Linked is an interview about her life, advice for NCSSS students, and advice on how to start up your own clinical practice.