“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
During my senior year, I approached Student Health Services about my experience. In fulfilment of the internship requirement of my Family Community Services degree, I was able to work with the Health Promotion Department to establish MSU’s Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), a peer support program for students in or seeking recovery from addiction.
My internship supervisor was an MSW who had received her degree from Michigan State. She encouraged me to look into the program, and after reading up on the profession, I was sold. I knew that social work was a good fit because its mission, philosophies, and values are a direct reflection of my personal and professional goals. I also liked the flexibility of the degree, and felt that becoming a social worker would offer me the opportunity to pursue many different career paths. MSU’s part-time program has allowed me to complete my degree requirements while working full time to grow the CRC.
I had pursued a degree in social work because I wanted to improve the lives of those affected by mental health and substance use disorders, and legislative advocacy provided me with a whole new means by which to do so. By the end of the semester, I had made the decision to channel my passion for helping others into affecting systems-level change, and I switched my concentration to Organization and Community Leadership.
Dr. Klein also encouraged me to apply for the Advocacy Scholars Program, a scholarship program that provides training and mentorship for students interested in careers in professional advocacy. I am honored to be a part of the 2017-2018 Advocacy Scholars cohort and excited to learn from the passionate and distinguished faculty behind the program.
Together, “inside” and “outside” students study the intersection of mental health, substance abuse, immigration, and the criminal justice system, and come up with policy solutions to difficult social problems. I have never felt so connected to my peers as I did in Inside/Out. The class built in me a deep empathy for incarcerated individuals and reaffirmed my career goals of improving mental health and substance abuse programs and policies.
Everyone I have encountered has been so willing to help guide me in the direction of my academic and career goals.