Shaniqua Burton, LMSW
Georgia Atlanta Metro State Director
Shaniqua M. Burton was born and raised in Salisbury, NC. She moved to Atlanta, GA in 2009, where she began her matriculation at the number one historically black college, Spelman College. Shaniqua graduated in 2015 with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. After graduation, she spent several years searching for her calling, choosing other roads, and through many personal experiences- Social Work chose her. In 2018, she answered the call. The professional transition was seamless and aligned with her God given purpose!
Shaniqua entered the field as a Master of Social Work student at the illustrious Clark Atlanta University’s, Whitney M. Young School of Social Work (WMYJSS). She began to fuel her passion for helping others by creating solutions, spreading awareness, and empowering them to become self-sufficient. During her first year at WMYJSS, she interned at Empowerment Resource Center (ERC) which is a non-profit, community-based organization located in downtown Atlanta. She served multiple counties within Georgia in her role as an Outreach Specialist through conducting HIV screenings, providing pre- and post-counseling, facilitating an array of HIV prevention programs, and implementing processes for their People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) intervention. After interning for a year, Shaniqua was offered a full-time position with the organization! Finishing up her last year in the program and working with ERC, she began her clinical year internship at Georgia Regional Hospital Atlanta (GRHA). She worked face to face with individuals who were diagnosed with mental health disorders on their Adult Mental Health Unit. In her role as a clinical social work intern, she primarily oversaw discharge planning, which included providing resources, acting as a client advocate, and organizing groups.
Her academic accomplishments awarded her an invitation to be an inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society Zeta Kappa Chapter in 2019. She also was elected Vice President of the National Association of Black Social Workers for the 2019-2020 school year. She also took a leap of faith and applied to serve as a Behavioral Health Ambassador for the 2019-2020 academic year with HBCU C.A.R.E.S. HBCU C.A.R.E.S. is an initiative
funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
and housed in the HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health at Clark Atlanta University. After a competitive application process, she was accepted into the Inaugural class for HBCU C.A.R.E.S.
Despite having a full plate, Shaniqua became a two-time HBCU alum when she graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2020 with her Master of Social Work Degree in Health & Mental Health from CAU’s WMYJSS. Within just two months of graduating, she accepted her first job in the field as a Social Service Provider on one of the three Forensic Units at GRHA. Three months after officially beginning her profession journey, she became a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of GA in October 2020.
Above all her academic accolades, she holds her role as a mother to two boys and as a fiancé as her primary source of support and motivation. She constantly strives to be better and will forever be evolving into the woman God designed her to be.
The Social Work profession has allowed her to develop mantras about her areas of passion and share them with her clients. She shares that “HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a lifestyle change.” Similar to sharing that “a mental health diagnosis is not the definition of who a person really is.”