Deenie Brosens has always been a volunteer for people in need. While raising her four children in New York City, she and her husband generously gave to nonprofit organizations supporting underserved and at-risk youth.
But she felt compelled to deeper action, and so when her youngest child was in middle school, she enrolled in the NYU Silver School of Social Work. The immersive clinical experience of graduate school was a revelation, and the opportunity to “step it up and take it in a more a clinical direction” solidified Brosens’ desire to pursue social work. “It was a very good program, and extremely fulfilling,” she reflected.
Today, Brosens balances her philanthropic work with a position at the Washington Square Institute, a nonprofit psychoanalytic institute and treatment center. At WSI, Brosens sees clients from all walks of life, including individuals struggling with addictions, self-injurious behavior, depression, and anger management. The center’s mission is in keeping with Brosens’ commitment to giving back. For over 52 years, the WSI has offered sliding scale fee psychotherapy and continuing educational programs to the community.
“I find social work to be a wonderful field. I’ve never looked back. I’ve enjoyed the whole journey,” she said. “The most fulfilling thing for me is to be in a room with someone with no judgment, and respect them no matter who they are or what their situation.”
After receiving such satisfaction from her own career, Brosens has supported the social work profession through financial gifts to New York University and the Silver School. “I want to enable students to have a more fulfilling life,” she shared. “It’s a way to say thank you and support the institution that opens these doors for you. Social work is a wonderful cause, and unfortunately social workers don’t make a lot of money. NYU is an institution that inspires people to go down a path that isn’t necessarily lucrative but is fulfilling in many other ways.”