It’s been a big year for the social work program. In February 2016, we rejoiced as the program earned accreditation status through the Council on Social Work Education – a huge benefit for our students. We celebrated as we watched more of our beloved students walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, and rejoiced as we welcomed the new students who came behind them.
But most importantly, we watched as our social work program equip students to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Through our interactions with students, homework assignments, group projects and internship placements, we strove to teach our students the importance of caring for the widow, the orphan, the refugee and the marginalized among us. They took it to heart. Here are just some of the ways our students and graduates are living out the gospel message in their work:
Molly LeValley (’15) has a passion to work with the elderly. During her studies at LBC, she completed her junior practicum at the Office as Aging as an Ombudsman, advocating for the rights of nursing home residents. Her senior internship at Audubon Villa in Lititz allowed LeValley to continue serving the elderly within a residential setting. Upon graduation, she became the director of social services at The Gardens at Lititz, a local nursing home. LeVally’s heart for the vulnerable allows her to serve those in advanced age with the dignity that they deserve.
Elizabeth (Florio ’16) Keltner understands the needs of the vulnerable and oppressed. Keltner has a heart for immigrants and refugees. For several years, she volunteered with Westminster Presbyterian Church’s refugee ministry, teaching English to people from Burma, Congo and Cuba. During her senior internship, Keltner was placed at Church World Services in Lancaster where she helped newly-arrived Syrian refugees acclimate to culture and life in the United States. Now, she is employed full-time at The Factory Ministries where she is part of the social work team providing help to Lancaster County families who find themselves experiencing the physical, emotional and spiritual hardships of poverty.
Emily Krump (’17) is committed to serving individuals with disabilities, using her life experiences to minister to others. Her younger brother was diagnosed with a developmental delay, allowing Krump and her family to learn the value of advocating for this vulnerable population. Krump had the opportunity to complete her junior practicum at the Office of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in their Early Intervention program. This experience opened the door for her to participate in her senior internship in the Office of Intellectual Disabilities. Krump is turning her early life experiences into an act of service, loving others in Christ’s name through social work.
There are countless other examples of our LBC graduates, out in the field, making a tangible impact for the kingdom of God through their work. We are so grateful to journey alongside our students as they learn and put this command into practice: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8