“I feel driven to work with families in a context that empowers them to find solutions that fit their lives. I understand from a compassionate and intellectual approach (instilled from the Human Services Department at Washburn University) that self-determination, mutual respect, and unconditional kindness and health are key components to working with families.”
Grace Roberts wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she came to Washburn University, but after joining our Bonner Leadership Program, she realized that helping others was her true calling. Grace joined the Human Services department and focused on getting a broad scope of study. She completed the program in four years, including several internships working with children and adolescents. Like many of our students, she was able to use the experiences and professional contacts she gained through our internship program to have a job lined up as soon as she graduated. She currently works with the Oasis program at the Kansas Children’s Service League doing prevention and early intervention services with youth who have run away from home or are at risk for out of home placement. She provides case management services, family mediation, resource referrals, and ongoing support to the youth and their families.
Grace’s future goals include a pursuing a master’s degree in order to conduct extensive research to better target client populations and pursue opportunities to connect literacy and mental health. Though she is relatively new to the field, she sees herself developing a leadership role, providing supervision to newcomers in the field in order to improve the use of the strengths-based and holistic approaches that the Human Services Department so strongly advocates for.
“My Human Services education at Washburn has created opportunities that I know I would not have had without it. I have used my education with the people I supervise and work with by challenging them and myself to consider life outside of the box. Not to be satisfied with things of the everyday, but instead to challenge our instinctual thinking and how it plays into our life experiences. To move through this world in such a way that we don’t make it more difficult for those around us or for those who come after us. It is such a rewarding feeling to have someone come to me and share with me how their interactions with me have affected them. I have also had the opportunity to consider other career paths. Paths I haven’t taken just yet, but the opportunities are there…that’s what my Human Services Education at Washburn has done for me, opened up my world.”
Jane Moore graduated from Washburn University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services and completed a Certificate in Victim/Survivor Services in 2012. She is currently a Client Training Supervisor for the State of Kansas, managing a home for people living with developmental disabilities. Her goal is to create an environment that is geared toward inclusion into community life so that people with numerous challenges are able to have a fuller range of life experiences. One of the things Jane appreciates most about her Human Services education is that she has many career paths open to her. She is enjoying her current work immensely, but plans to follow another of her passions in the future by developing a second career working with at-risk teens.
“The impact of WU's Human Services department on my success is huge. As a non-traditional student it was a great fit for me, and my work schedule. The classes were almost immediately applicable to the work I was doing and gave me a great foundation for moving forward in my career. The encouragement of my professors led me to apply for graduate school. The Non-Profit Management certificate I earned help broaden my skill-set and prepared me for my current position. I really enjoyed my time at WU and majoring in Human Services is probably one of the best decisions I have made.”
Andrew Brown knew he wanted to be a leader in the Human Services field. While working on his Bachelor’s degree with our department, he also completed our Certificate in Non-Profit Management. He graduated in 2010 and was accepted into the KU Master of Social Work program with a concentration in Administration, Advocacy, and Policy. He used the experiences and skills he learned at Washburn to work his way through his MSW as a coordinator of several programs for Douglas County Senior Services. He rapidly rose to positions of increasing responsibility. Based on his outstanding success in securing substantial funding increases for the Lawrence Community Shelter, Andrew was ultimately hired on as the Executive Director of Headquarters, Inc in 2014 to address a serious leadership and funding crisis. At Headquarters he oversees the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Kansas Youth Suicide Prevention project, and Headquarters Counseling Center, which is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center. Within a year, Andrew restored the counseling center to 24/7 operations, ensuring that people are able to get the help they need, whenever they need it. He is also involved in state-level advocacy and prevention efforts, helping to draft the new State Suicide Prevention Plan for Kansas and co-chairing the Governor’s Behavior Health Services Planning Council Suicide Prevention Subcommittee.
Within five years of graduating from our program, Andrew had already landed the Executive Director position that he set as his goal when he became a Human Services major. He enjoys the challenge of his current position and works to make the programs he leads function better and more efficiently. He expects that in another 5 years, Headquarters, Inc. will be a recognized leader in suicide prevention and that he will be ready to pass leadership on to someone else and take on a new challenge. For now, he enjoys the challenges of his current position, the excitement of his work at the state-wide level, and the rewards of getting to support local champions around the state in organizing their communities to prevent suicide.