Meet Shauna from our Intercept program in Salem, OR!

spotlightWhat is your education background/what school did you attend?

I received my Bachelors of Arts in Communications from Western Oregon University and then attended the Master’s in Social Work program at Portland State University.

 What is the most rewarding part of your role? Most challenging?

Watching families, in whatever form, learn how to interact differently and support each other in a healthy way is one of the most rewarding parts of my role. The most rewarding part is seeing a child and parent feel whole with each other and relief that they were able to gain the skills needed to be successful in the community. The most challenging is working within a broken mental health system, the lack of resources, an underfunded school system, and lack of education or support for mental health needs.

Why did you choose to come work at YV?

I feel like YV chose me. I looked into many different job opportunities, YV sounded daunting at first, but I wanted a challenge. It is the work, the values, and the support of children and families that makes me stay.

What have you learned most since coming to YV? How have you seen yourself grow?

I have learned what kind of therapist that I want to be, how to look adversity in the eye and move forward, how to push my belief systems, and I have grown in my ability to handle different communication styles.

Any fun facts about yourself?

I used to want to be a journalist, then I became a Special Olympics Coach, and then I became a Social Worker. Being the difference means more than reporting the difference. I also love Zombies and watching zombie or action movies to unwind.

What’s your favorite part about living in Salem?

The interesting and diverse people that can be found throughout town, the growth, and the amount of independent business owners. My favorite thing to do is take a walk downtown with my 2 year old and then take her to play at Riverfront.

Anything else we should know?

Many of us do this work because we recognize ourselves in these children or they may represent a piece of our lives that we wish we could have changed. Making the difference now is helping to rewrite someone’s story. Every action makes a difference.


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