Transforming Trauma: A Student's Dedication to Empowering Children


By Morgan Flynn, Communication Graduate Assistant 

Sarah Spicer is a junior from Shelbyville, KY pursuing a double major in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, aiming to graduate in the Spring of 2024. Their academic journey at UofL has been enriched by coursework, professors, and on-campus resources that have assisted in preparing them for their future career. 

 One invaluable resource for them was their Career Coach, Erin Heakin, at the University Career Center, who guided them in identifying their ideal career path. "My Career Coach helped me figure out the career that I want to go into,” they said. 

In May 2022, Spicer started a new position as a Direct Care Worker at Maryhurst, the oldest nonprofit in the state of Kentucky that works to prevent abuse, restore hope, and empower survivors. This transformative experience helped to cement their passion for making a difference.  

As a Direct Care Worker at Maryhurst, their responsibilities include supervising and assisting clients during their daily routines. The most rewarding aspect of their internship was the profound impact they had on the lives of the clients they worked with. "Feeling like I have made a difference in the lives of the clients that I work with" was a source of immense satisfaction for them. 

Reflecting on their time so far at Maryhurst, they found every day to be unique, a testament to the importance of their work. This internship provided them with valuable insights, ultimately shaping their career aspirations.  

"I have learned so much about working and interacting with children who have experienced trauma and abuse, which has helped me figure out that I want to work with children who have experienced trauma and abuse as a therapist," Spicer said. 

Looking ahead, Spicer intends to pursue a Master's in Social Work and become a Child Therapist, using their experiences and knowledge to make a lasting impact on the lives of vulnerable children. 

For fellow students searching for internships or jobs, they have valuable advice: "Reach out to your Career Coach and use the resources the Career Center offers."  

More information about internships and jobs can be found on the University Career Center website. Students can talk with theirprogram’s internship coordinator about possible internship opportunities and academic credit. Additionally, students can use Cardinal Careers to find current internship and job opportunities.