I participated in Johnson Service Corps, then called Johnson Intern Program, in 13-14, immediately after graduating Goucher College with a degree in Religion. I joined the program with no clear sense of direction, but knowing that I yearned for continued spiritual inquiry and community with like-minded people, and hopeful that the program would help me gain clarity about how the passions that had emerged for me throughout my college experience could manifest in something tangible.
My time with JSC exceeded my every expectation. From it I gained life-long friendships (family, really), a rich community and profound sense of home in Chapel Hill, as well as service experience that lent incredible momentum to my professional and personal trajectory and gave me direction and purpose about my future and where my passions fit in the world.
During JSC, I interned at Freedom House Recovery Center, where I worked with women seeking recovery from substance use and mental health issues. The inner work that each woman embarked upon in her effort to maintain sobriety inspired me to approach my own inner work with equal bravery, honesty, and integrity. I had finally found work in which I could be of service and from which I could also derive intense personal satisfaction and growth. My internship at Freedom House turned into a job, which marked the budding of my identity as a proud social worker. I found the process of getting to know individuals in need in our community as well as building collaborative relationships with fellow social workers and social justice agencies in and around Chapel Hill exhilarating, life-giving, and empowering.
In 2016, I enrolled in the MSW program at UNC-Chapel Hill. My internships through school helped broaden my experience and perspective, all the while deepening my inner certainty that social work was the career for me. I worked at Chapel Hill High School in the counseling department and at the Federal Correctional Complex at Butner. Despite the many differences in the individuals I encountered, I was mostly struck by the human ties that unite all of us in times of difficulty and our fundamental need to be fully heard, feel respected and met with compassion, and have people show up for us.
I obtained my MSW last month and have since moved to Burlington, VT to be closer to my family and to accept the position of Residential Coordinator at a local residential treatment facility for mothers in recovery and their young children. Reflecting on how I landed here fills me with immense gratitude for JSC, including the founders, volunteers, staff (both past and present), my beloved cohort and all of the cohorts before us, who were instrumental along the way and continue to stay with me in mind and heart.