Maxine Amaru ‘blazes trails’ on her inspirational journey to graduation

Instead of a walk across the stage at commencement, this Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Department of Africana Studies will likely dance across the stage.

Thursday, May 9, 2024
Maxine Amaru poses in outside California's capitol building wearing a long colorful skirt and a black shirt that reads "social worker"
Maxine Amaru at the state capitol building in Sacramento, during the NASW “Legislative Lobby Days” conference, April 2024.

She’s a mom, grandmother, first-generation non-traditional transfer student, and an award-winning senior. If that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she is involved in a wide array of student, community, and volunteer organizations.

And, she somehow fits in fun activities by regularly participating in the 40+ Double Dutch Club — a community group that empowers women through social activities.

Nothing stops San Diego native Maxine Amaru, on her journey to graduation, summa cum laude, with a degree in Africana Studies plus a minor in social work. 

Amaru is on a mission. Her ultimate educational and career goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in pursuit of a career with San Diego County's Child Welfare Services. 

“‘I am a natural born social worker, counselor, mentor, and teacher by nature,” Amaru said.” I love to support, help, and assist anyone in need.” 

Since August 2021, Amaru has been involved in SDSU student organizations that include the Black Social Work Association (BSWA), where she was the 2023-24 president. She also was the treasurer of the Social Workers of Color Student Coalition (SWC). Amaru has been involved with the Black Resource Center (BRC), Harold K. Brown - Knowledge, Education, Empowerment Program (HB KEEP), Black Transfer Student (BTSS), and others. 

For more than a decade she has been involved in community and volunteer organizations such as Gangs Be Gone, a nonprofit group offering children workshops on how to stay away from gang life, and House of Hope, a homeless shelter for single women and their children. 

Amaru also volunteered with and was a student member of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) with whom she recently attended the “Legislative Lobby Days” conference held in Sacramento at the state capitol. 

To add to her long list of scholarship awards, in 2024 she was awarded two Department of Africana Studies scholarships: the Shirley Wade Thomas Memorial Scholarship, developed in honor of a professor in the Afro-American Studies department from 1972 until her death in 1988; and, the Danny Scarborough Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the founder, choreographer and director of the SDSU Black Repertory Total Theatrical Experience from 1977 to 1987. 

The first to graduate from college, Amaru said, “I’m blazing trails in my family.”

Learn more about Maxine Amaru, in this video

Maxine Amaru is photographed at California's capitol building in Sacramento.
Maxine Amaru is a first-generation, nontraditional student studying Africana Studies. Graduating summa cum laude in May 2024, Maxine is an inspiration — "blazing trails in her family."
Categorized As