G A B E   B O L L I N G

Gabe Bolling    Bus

I began my professional social work career barely over one year ago as a therapist working with adults with substance use and related disorders. During internships (placements) at my university, I worked with children in state residential custody, juvenile sexual offenders, and families in transitional housing as a case manager. Coming from a family that preached love and acceptance, and with a mobility-impaired father and a mother who was the primary earner, gave me a perspective that continually pushes me to seek the best way to help those in need. I am relatively new to professional social work, but I am ecstatic to see the future and what it holds.


I chose Bus because…

…in an assignment during my college years we were asked us to describe ourselves as an object and write a paper on it. After pondering, for what seemed like forever, I remembered the experiences I had on the school bus as a child. Living one and a half hours away from the school by bus, I spent much of my formative years on the bus. From these experiences, including bus crashes, multiple breakdowns, overcrowding, fights, forming friendships, yelling, etc., I developed a great portion of my identity.

Buses, much like we social workers, touch a significant portion of our clients’ lives. We pick them up where they are at and transport them to a destination of their choosing. The client can end the journey earlier than their pre-designated goal. Our client, if envisioned as a bus, comes to us in some sense of maintenance and carrying a heavy load, whether it is other people, cargo, or a combination of varying influences. We, as the driver, help to teach, demonstrate, provide resources for, or counsel our client on how to drive, operate, and perform routine maintenance of their own bus. Each client may have a different size, style, and design of bus, but we read through the manuals we are provided by the client and manufacturing companies, all to provide the client with a better understanding of their own bus. All the while, we are all constantly on our own version of a bus to get from one place to another in our careers and personal lives. Buses have touched all of our lives through seeing them transporting others, riding on them, working on them, or even conceptually and metaphorically through our direct practice with clients. This is why I chose a bus, because a bus has significantly impacted my life, and on some level has impacted each person’s life, directly or indirectly, as we and our clients do on a daily basis.


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