We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Caraballo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
A few people in my circle knew that I failed my social work state exam on my first attempt to obtain my professional license. A few months later, I retook the exam and passed. I know to keep going when my passion feels greater than my fears. I preferred to try and fail at something than give up. People view mistakes as failures when they should view them as learning opportunities. I believe when a person can sit in discomfort and make it to the other side, the reward is so much sweeter. A lot of people forget that growth is sometimes uncomfortable.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently a School Social Worker, and in this profession, you do not see many young black male social workers like myself. What sets me apart from others is that I don’t allow my title to dedicate how I treat others. I genuinely enjoy helping others especially those who are part of my community. I am most excited about being a breath of fresh air for my students who endured so much during the past year. This field can be very rewarding when you are meeting people where they are. I got where I am professionally by doing a lot of years of schooling, but the one person I would like to say who opened the door for me was professor Sharon Goldberg. In my first social work class, she said “how can you think if your stomach is hungry?” and it resonated with me deeply. After that, deciding to become a social worker was a no-brainer, and the work was easy because it was something that I was always passionate about. Over time, I learned how to do a lot of unpacking and be aware of my emotions more intentionally. I want the world to know that storytelling is a powerful tool that can break generational trauma, and it is one of the reasons I started my podcast known as F.A.C.T.S (Factual. Authentic. Captivating. Transformative. Stories).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area, I would automatically take them to Hudson River Park because of the different things you can do there. I always loved playing basketball so I think it is natural for me to want to show my best friend the competitive atmosphere that is there and get a quick workout done. Right across the basketball court sits the ocean view and people jogging as they start their day. On the other side of the court, there is a biking lane where along the way I would probably rent a pair of bikes that you can find at the local bike store to explore other parts of the area. We will grab a bite at Chopt and biked our way to Manhattan Bridge where you can get a nice view. I love being interactive and adventurous.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am a firm believer that in this world you cannot do everything alone. I definitely have to shoutout my brother Joshua Ware for connecting me with Shoutout LA. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to project my voice to you, the audience. I want to shout out my family and friends because they supported me before anyone else believed in me. As far as organizations, I want to shout out my family at York College CUNY and NYU Silver School of Social Work for teaching me what it truly means to be a social worker.