Homecoming Week 2023 is right around the corner, and we’re ready to celebrate wit
One UL Lafayette graduate is receiving recognition for her contributions as a social worker. Kolby Robinson '09 was recently named the 2023 Social Worker of the Year for the Houston Independent School District, the eighth-largest school district in the United States. The Houston Independent School District is also the largest in Texas, with 274 schools and 187,000 students.
This is the first time in the district's history that they have recognized a social worker, and Robinson is highly deserving of this honor. She initially began her career when she decided to pursue child and family studies (now known as human development & family science) at UL Lafayette. "I always knew I wanted to help people," Robinson said.
With the help of many professors and mentors, Robinson excelled at her studies and went on to graduate school at Stephen F. Austin State University to continue her path to becoming a social worker. From there, she dove into her career and got experience in all aspects of social work before landing at Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy with the Houston Independent School District.
Robinson knew that she was nominated by her principal for the 2023 Social Worker of the Year award, but she was completely shocked when she learned she'd won. She accepted her award with her peers and co-workers at the annual end-of-year banquet for the district. "It was a really great experience to see people from so many schools in the district. You could feel that everyone who was there was really passionate about what they do. For me, the focus has always been that whatever my kids need, I'm there for them," Robinson said.
In her current role, Robinson focuses heavily on the well-being of her students. "I do a lot of feeling and emotional identification with the younger children where I teach them the appropriate words to use to express themselves," Robinson said. She also works in small groups with her students and conducts workshops for the faculty at the school as well. The best part for her is seeing her students improve and realizing that she's making a difference for them.
Robinson knows she wouldn't be where she is today without the training and support she received at UL Lafayette. "Being at UL Lafayette showed me that if you put your mind to it, you can do it," Robinson said. As her career progresses, she hopes to one day lead a department of social workers or even become a professor to help give back to the next generation. Right now, she's focused on continuing the great work that she's doing and making an impact on the lives of so many children in Texas.
Photo Captions: (Main) Kolby Robinson '09 accepting her award at the HISD annual banquet. Submitted (In Story) Robinson's headshot for the annual banquet. Houston Independent School District