Chandra Matthews, MSW ’00
Supporting, connecting and advocating for older adults
At her core, Chandra Matthews is an advocate for older adults and passionate about ensuring their right to dignity and respect. So it’s no surprise that her Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) MSW included a concentration in Aging Policy and Services.
It’s a focus that serves Matthews well in her current role as director of the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center at Jewish Family Service of Colorado, where she manages a $3 million budget and provides programs and services that help older adults stay supported, connected and engaged as they age in place.
The fundamental social work values GSSW instilled guided Matthews throughout her career. “GSSW taught me about self-determination, client/patient rights and the basic principles of advocacy, and it exposed me to a diverse group of people — all with differing views, opinions and life experiences. That exposure showed me how to be open in my social work practice and understand there is more to what is presented than what you see in any one moment in time,” says Matthews, named the 2013 Colorado Gerontological Society Young Professional in Aging.
The coursework remains relevant as well. “My Aging Policy class tied policy learning to what was actually happening in the Denver older adult community,” Matthews says. “[The professor] helped us make professional connections, which continue to serve me well today.”
“My Aging Policy class tied policy learning to what was actually happening in the Denver older adult community. [The professor] helped us make professional connections, which continue to serve me well today.” — Chandra Matthews, MSW ’00, Director, Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center, Jewish Family Service of Colorado