KATY REDD ('04)

Hi Matt!

I was just checking out the Valpo Social Work webpage to see what kinds of changes are happening. The website looks great...very organized and lots of up to date information. I see Lorrie is no longer listed as one of the faculty and that Danny Lackey (my practicum supervisor from Merrillville High School) is currently teaching. Looks like many changes have taken place over the last few years. Very exciting! I remember hearing Barbara Gaebel-Morgan speaking at a function while I was in school and she struck me as very down to earth. How wonderful that you have her teaching the department!

I am working in Helena, Montana. I took a position after the Peace Corps as a Grassroots Organizer and Community Educator for Planned Parenthood of Montana. So I get to be a sex educator after all (I remember working on a project in your research class about abstinence only education verses comprehensive sex ed!). But the bulk of my work at this time of the year is legislative in nature. I NEVER would have thought I'd be lobbying or going in to testify for or against certain bills. And the only experience that I had prior was actually in one of your classes when we went to the Indiana State Capitol and sat in on a committee hearing. It's a very busy time of the year in the office but exciting as well. I'm learning so much about this process and realizing that as a social worker, it really is so important to be involved and knowledgeable about the bill-making process. I can see myself always being involved at some level in what is going on in the state government. Sometimes legislators create bills without much knowledge (or care...which is even scarier!) about how it will actually affect people in the community. So I'm not sure if you're still taking students to the Capitol and educating them about the process of how a bill becomes a law, but it's very important for social workers to have that knowledge (so I hope you are!)

I hope all is well in the dark days of a Valpo winter!

Katy Redd
Grassroots Organizer/Community Educator
Planned Parenthood of Montana
318 N. Last Chance Gulch Suite 2C
Helena, Montana 59601