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Rosie Wigutoff: Helping others do what she loves

Rosie Wigutoff: Helping others do what she loves

Technically, Norma Rosie Wigutoff (SSW'76) is an elder caregiver. But she says she's really a "therapeutic companion," a work model she created.

"You know all the British novels where the young woman travels to Europe with a wealthy spinster aunt? It's kind of like that," she says with a laugh, "except for the traveling! I use my social work skills to focus on the whole relationship and quality time, rather than being only a physical caregiver."

Rosie cares for just one person several times a week, often to the end of life. With her current client, she says, "we do adult coloring books, we have leisurely lunches, we read, we watch Yiddish movies on TV, we listen to classical music."

Earlier in her career, Rosie worked in Child Protective Services, other agencies, and a private counseling practice. She calls social work "the best career out there" and credits the BU School of Social Work (SSW) with helping her confirm her life's calling.

"BU had the best professors, the best courses-it was everything I wanted to learn," Rosie says. "And it gave me the credentials to do what I wanted to do in the world."

That's why she supports SSW: to help new generations discover the best graduate education possible. For her financial situation, a planned gift made sense.

"I don't have lots of money to give right now-there weren't pension plans in social work back then," Rosie says, "but when I'm gone, there will be lots! Without a husband and kids to leave it to, I want it to go to places that are really helping to protect social justice in this country."


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