picture of Junger Herazo-Vargas

Junger Herazo-Vargas


MSW Grad Pays It Forward

Junger Herazo-Vargas, a 2022 graduate with a Master's in Social Work (MSW) from Marywood University, embodies the spirit of service and dedication to societal betterment. His journey, marked by a commitment to influence young lives positively, extends beyond personal achievements to foster significant change in the lives of future generations.

Born in Panama and relocating to the United States at eight, Herazo-Vargas mastered English by his early teens. This period of adaptation was significantly shaped by the support of social workers, whose influence was both inspiring and motivating. Herazo-Vargas credits these early interactions with social workers as pivotal in shaping his desire to contribute to the field.

Social workers are at the forefront of community empowerment, enhancing social services, educational opportunities, and economic independence. Herazo-Vargas' story highlights the profound impact of social work on individual lives and communities at large.

“There were social workers who impacted my life when I was growing up and trying to learn English," Herazo-Vargas reflects. “I want to give teenagers the same kind of help that was given to me. As a bilingual speaker, I believe that I can have a positive impact on the Hispanic community."

Herazo-Vargas is driven by the desire to replicate the positive influence he experienced, aiming to support others in navigating their challenges. Social work's unique approach to addressing external factors affecting individuals sets it apart, focusing on creating actionable strategies for change and coping.

"I want to reach out to as many people as possible," Herazo-Vargas states. "I want to give the proper guidance to learn English and understand the American culture, which I experienced."

The evolving field of social work continues to adapt to the changing needs of the 21st century, with Marywood University's School of Social Work at the forefront of this evolution. The MSW program at Marywood is designed to equip future social workers like Herazo-Vargas with the necessary skills and knowledge to effect real change. Emphasizing immersive field placements, the program integrates theoretical knowledge with practical application, preparing students to become compassionate, effective professionals.

“I’m grateful for the education and experience I’ve gained at Marywood," says Herazo-Vargas. "The MSW program drew me in with its commitment to tackle the complexities of today's social challenges. I found a community that embraced both the science and the soul of social work.”

Currently, Herazo-Vargas applies his passion and skills at the Scranton Counseling Center, serving as a Mobile Therapist in the School Based Behavioral Health Program. In this role, he continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of young people, guiding them through their challenges and fostering a supportive environment for growth and understanding.


Junger Herazo-Vargas shares a moment with his colleagues at the Scranton Counseling Center.

Herazo-Vargas' dedication and the comprehensive training received at Marywood University position him to make a significant impact on many lives. His story is a testament to the transformative power of social work and the difference one individual can make through empowerment, support, and positive change.