All views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and are not endorsed by or reflective of SUCCESS. As a reader-supported publication, we may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.
Trials, tribulations and triumphs shape us in ways we often can’t imagine. For Shara Ruffin, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with over 18 years of experience, these trials took the form of personal challenges and professional hurdles. Ruffin’s journey is not only a testament to her resilience. It’s also what led her to offer support and guidance to social workers across the globe.
Her formative journey
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social work from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Howard University School of Social Work, Ruffin ventured into social work. Over the years, she specialized in various areas such as grief, personality disorders, family trauma, compassion fatigue, military counseling, mindfulness meditation, ADHD and anxiety.
Ruffin’s struggles while pursuing her LCSW led her to establish Journey To Licensure, a platform dedicated to aiding social workers through their BSW, MSW and LCSW exams. Her holistic approach integrates test preparation with mindset coaching and stress reduction techniques.
Empowering social workers
Ruffin’s methods—which help with strategy, motivation, encouragement and self-care—have earned Ruffin high praise from her clients. Rissi Carrey, who enlisted Ruffin’s guidance, describes her as a “prolific social work licensure coach.” Carrey credits Ruffin’s reassuring coaching style for her ability to pass her exam well ahead of time. “I took the test on Jan. 31, 2023, finished an hour and half early and passed,” she says. “Shara is the real deal.”
Katherine Mace, another client, praises Ruffin for her kindness, compassion and thoroughness. Mace appreciates how Ruffin took time to understand her unique needs, help direct her to the right resources and, most importantly, instill a sense of belief in her abilities. Mace describes Ruffin as someone quick to respond, honest and with excellent follow-up. In her words, “I am forever grateful! I highly recommend her services and expertise.”
Beyond her clinical and coaching work, Ruffin is an author. She penned 90 Days of Prayer: A Journal for Social Workers, designed to inspire and spiritually nourish social workers. The book blends Ruffin’s professional expertise with her spiritual insights.
Additionally, she wrote 90 Days of Inspiration: Study Companion for Social Workers Taking Their Licensing Exam. This book is a comprehensive guide offering strategic advice and motivational support.
Not limited to her books, Ruffin regularly shares valuable advice and inspiring messages through her X (formerly Twitter) and Clubhouse accounts, further extending her influence and support to social workers worldwide. She also offers support and guidance to social workers on LinkedIn, TikTok and Facebook.
Ruffin’s mission is at the core of every role she takes on: to enhance social workers’ personal and professional lives. Her efforts and spirit have created a supportive, empowering space for social workers around the globe.