Degree: Master of Social Work
College/School: Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work
Several days after Tre King’s 25th birthday he received a devastating phone call: His mother had lost her decades-long battle with drug addiction.
The drugs and gang violence in Tre’s North Miami Beach neighborhood didn’t stay in the streets. He grew up never knowing his father and never knowing his mother sober. Raised by his grandparents, Tre always tried to remain positive – even when other children would pick on him or call his mother names.
It was the social worker who regularly visited him that changed the course of Tre’s life and influenced him to become a social worker.
After graduating from high school – something Tre thought he would never do – he planned to join the marines, but instead opted for college. After graduating from Miami Dade College, he came to FIU and earned his bachelor’s degree in social work. Then, he did something else he also never thought he’d do – pursue a master’s degree.
For the past several months, Tre has interned at Better Way of Miami, a substance abuse treatment facility. After he lost his mother, though, Tre struggled with his work. He saw his mother in his clients. Many nights, he would go home and replay the phone call in his head. He’d think about ending his life. Then, he remembered the one thing his mother taught him: “You have to hustle.” That’s exactly what Tre did.
After he graduates, Tre hopes to find a job in social work and continue making a difference in the lives of others.
By Angela Nicoletti
Senior Writer, Office of Media Relations