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How did Social Work Student, Sister Win “Amazing Race” on CBS? They Just Had Fun

LaKisha (left) and Jennifer Hoffman.

What strategy did social work graduate student LaKisha Hoffman and her sister Jennifer use to win this season’s “Amazing Race” on CBS and claim a $1-million prize?

The Hoffmans, who first appeared on the reality show in 2009, decided to relax this time and really enjoy the experience.

 “Doing it the first time you go in and are not totally prepared,” said LaKisha, who attends the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City. “The first time was more stressful because you don’t want to make a mistake.”

“So going in the next time we wanted to have a lot more fun,” she said.

LaKisha said she will use part of the $1 million winnings to pay her student loans. She and Jennifer also want to help their mother launch a real estate business, possibly by buying a property. However, their mother urged them to consult a financial adviser before making a final decision, advice LaKisha said they will take.

In “Amazing Race,” which has been on air for 10 years, teams of two go on an around-the-world race using taxis, buses, bicycles and other transportation. The last team to reach a “pit stop” runs the risk of elimination.

 LaKisha said Jennifer sent in an audition tape for the 14th season in 2009. Producers asked the sisters to come to Los Angeles to meet them. LaKisha said she went on a lark, expecting the trip to be just a nice vacation.

 “Once we were out there I got the feeling they were liking us,” she said.

Although they were eliminated that season producers invited them to return for this season’s “Amazing Race: Unfinished Business,” which brought back eliminated teams from prior seasons.

One thing they did do to prepare was take swimming lessons, a skill that had stumped Jennifer when they last appeared on the program, LaKisha said. However, they did try to make the experience more fun by socializing with other teams, sharing information with competitors, and taking time to soak in the scenery of China, India and other countries they visited.

LaKisha plans to graduate from Hunter in 2013. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has experience working as a camp counselor, basketball coach, youth counselor, Big Sister, youth program coordinator, mentor, activities director, childcare worker and nanny.

 One day she wants to start a business that supports children and family through counseling and other activities such as athletics. “Given all my interests I felt social work was the most flexible (career choice) and allowed me to do what I want to do,” she said.

LaKisha Hoffman already has a variety of skills that will make her a successful social worker. Do you think you want to be a social worker too? To find out more about the career visit the National Association of Social Workers’ BeASocialWorker.org Web site by clicking here.

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  1. I love AR! I try and catch every episode at every season. This particular episode was my favor because one of the team members were African American females. I missed the season they competed in due to personal reasons but I vowed not to miss this one. A friend a mine and I have a ritual where we would watch AR every Sunday without fail. Her team this past season were the ‘Cowboys’. I like the Cowboys; very humble individuals however I pegged my girls right from the beginning that they were my favorite and that they would win the AR! I am so proud of them. They not only beat the odds of winning this time around but they had fun doing it.

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