Our alumni are involved in such a wide variety of activities that it is difficult to list them in any comprehensive way. They range from directors of multi-state, multi-million dollar programs to community volunteers. A significant number of our graduates work internationally. They are involved in mental health, advocacy, geriatrics, adoption, health policy, and work with special populations.
We enjoy hearing from our alumni and how Valpo has contributed to their professional accomplishments and impacted their lives. If you have information to share, please email Office Coordinator, Tammy Hartman.
I am working at a non-profit program in Illinois, providing home-based crisis intervention and stabilization services for youth and their families. The job provides a lot of variety—individual and family counseling, crisis intervention, case management, etc.—and is always full of surprises. In addition to the job, I’ve spent time in different volunteer opportunities. I’m starting to look into teaching at the undergraduate level. I love social work, but think it’s time to take a break from the clinical piece for awhile. Amber Rakoczy Valpo Class of 2005
I continue to work as a Clinical Social Worker with OMNI youth services. OMNI is a large community based youth agency in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I primarily work with court-involved youth referred to us by juvenile probation for drug, gang, or criminal behavior. In addition to seeing youth one on one each week, I also meet with their parents, and run several groups that address decision-making,substance abuse, and learning how to live in society. It is challenging and rewarding work.
After graduation from Valpo, I attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and received my MSW. My first jobs were in child welfare, particularly adoptions. My family later moved to California, where I received my LCSW, the California license that qualifies social workers for independent practice. I worked at agencies doing counseling and psychotherapy. After some years of agency practice, I decided to go into private practice, and was invited to join a practice group of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
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 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. The only experience that I had prior was when we went to the Indiana state capitol and sat in on a committee hearing.
I graduated from Valpo in August 1979 with my BSW. I am looking forward to completing my MSW at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. I have been working on a self assessment that defines who I am as a social worker and what I base my practice on. I find that the information that I learned 30 years ago still has relevance, and is actually the basis for many of the “new” approaches and theories I have been learning about and had unknowingly previously incorporated into my professional work.