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Ang Sherki Sherpa - BA (Hons) Social Work

Ang Sherki Sherpa
From arriving in Scotland without speaking a word of English to supporting those less fortunate throughout floods, earthquakes, great tragedy and loss, Ang Sherki Sherpa’s road to graduation is driven with passion and a desire to improve people’s lives.

Sherki graduated from RGU with a first-class honours degree in social work on Friday 7 August at a virtual graduation ceremony watched by family, friends and peers from around the globe. 

Born in the Nepalese village of Kharikhola in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sherki came to Scotland at the age of 11 without any knowledge of the English language. 

“I’m from a background where my generation was the first to access good education,” said Sherki. “My parents and grandparents didn’t have the privilege, and it’s always been their goal to provide me and my siblings with the best education they could.   

“They’ve instilled in me a strong desire to learn and chase after my goals. My journey of learning this far has not been easy. To me, graduating with a first-class degree feels surreal. I owe my education and success to my parents, and also to the school teachers, the lecturers and my personal tutor at RGU who all contributed towards my achievements.” 

Sherki was raised in two very different cultures. Her broad life experiences, charitable works, and the merits instilled in her by her parents gave her the ability to view situations from alternate perspectives to better understand and help those in need. 

“I wanted to work in a profession which would challenge me to continuously learn and develop and make me feel passionate and proud about my work,” said Sherki. “Social work is a profession underpinned by strong professional values, but they also align with some of my own such as equality, individuality, social justice, integrity, dignity and respect. 

“These values accompanied by the privilege of education, the opportunities, volunteering work, and my personal experiences enabled me to realize my passion for the profession.” 

Sherki was living her ideals long before discovering her passion for social work. Ahead of attending RGU, Sherki returned to her birthplace in Nepal on many occasions to make a real difference in young people’s lives. 

She set up a project to rebuild a village’s school in 2012; provided support to the homeless after the capital was hit by floods and landslides in 2014; and in 2015, rebuilt a house for thirty children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities after an earthquake devastated the country. 

“I raised funds by cooking traditional Nepalese food, guest speaking at events, and volunteering in the community,” said Sherki. “After completing this work, I felt that it was time to become qualified with a degree so that I could give back to the community here in Scotland and continue to do what I can to bring about positive change in the lives of those who need it the most.” 

Sherki completed her social work journey with RGU during the COVID-19 lockdown. RGU’s extensive experience in online learning, as the third-largest provider in the UK, allowed the university to rapidly transition to remote learning for all its teaching and assessments in response to the pandemic. 

“I felt that the university was able to quickly adapt to the difficult situation and still provide me and my fellow students the support we required,” said Sherki. “Completing my assignments was certainly not an easy task during a lockdown. However, the course lecturers and my tutor were all available to support if needed and the university’s online resources were very useful. 

“Before the pandemic, RGU was like a second home to me. It’s enabled me to enjoy hobbies, like volleyball, as well as meet some of my closest friends. I’ve also been able to participate in various placement opportunities, allowing me to experience working with a wide range of service user groups – both locally and internationally.” 

After her final placement with a children and families social work team in Aberdeen, Sherki successfully interviewed for a permanent and similar position in Dumfries and Galloway. 

“It is still my motivation, and my passion, to make a difference in the lives of those who require and accept my support,” said Sherki. “I have really enjoyed my placement and I’m looking forward to beginning my career in this field.” 

“I believe there is a lot yet for me to learn and develop as I move forward, but RGU has prepared me for the next chapter of my journey.”

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