A Valpo education goes far beyond our campus borders, and Valpo students are always eager to showcase what that means. Our “Beacons in your Backyard” series is meant to shine a light on the great things that our Beacons are accomplishing in and around Valpo.

Our first Beacon, Nicole Moy ‘22, who majored in social work with an interest in trauma intervention/coping, was able to create an opportunity for herself that she didn’t even think was a possibility. Nicole proved herself capable and paved the way for future Valpo students to have the same opportunities.

“I did my internship at Midwest Center for Youth and Families at South Shore Academy,” Nicole says. “Initially, they said no because they hadn’t accepted bachelor level interns for almost two years at that point, but Barb Crumpacker-Niedner, clinical associate professor of social work) encouraged me to go back, and they gave me a chance.”

Nicole proved that when you take a chance on a Valpo student, you won’t be disappointed. For her social work Legacy Project, Nicole created an automated document that helped the two Midwest Center for Youth and Families’ locations organize their electronic files, and allow for schedules and operations to work more efficiently.

“Their computer systems had been hacked right before I started with them and all of their electronic files were in complete disarray,” Nicole says. “I’m interested in macro level practice, so I wanted to focus on making some of the processes more efficient. I created an automated document where you can put in the resident’s name, the therapist’s name, and their intake date, and it would automatically populate when each item was due. It was color coded, so it was clear for everyone who needed specific information,” she said.

“I am grateful for that trust, and I am grateful for that opportunity,” Nicole said.

Nicole also put together binders for master’s level interns who were coming in and provided them with orientation for the system that she created. In addition, she created unit schedules to help keep every location organized and encourage clarity between the two locations. Nicole is now starting her master’s program and has been approached by Baptist Children’s Home to create a trauma intervention program. And if Nicole’s prior work ethic says anything about what’s to come, we are expecting her to accomplish great things.

“I knew that I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know what that could look like. I did a lot of praying and a lot of soul searching, and God opened the door to social work. That’s how I feel I can help people, through social work,” Nicole said.