Allison Pappas, ’14, came to Meredith with a powerful work ethic and a desire to make a difference. A social work major and an honors student, she’s used that sense of purpose to have a positive impact on her surroundings.
As the student liaison for the National Association of Social Workers - NC, Allison networked with professional social workers at statewide conferences. Her internship in the public affairs office at Planned Parenthood allowed her to try out advocacy work, which is what she plans to do in the future.
“My field instructor was able to match me with a perfect internship,” said Allison.
She helped organize and recruit volunteers, did educational presentations, registered voters, and traveled to Washington, D.C., for a Supreme Court hearing.
“I've been able to see all the work that goes into advocacy through many different experiences,” said Allison. “On the social work side, I am now able to understand how much work must be done just to affect one policy.”
She’s also been able to tie her outreach efforts to her personal interests. Her experiences as a competitive rider led her to volunteer for CORRAL, a riding and tutoring program for at-risk girls. Her honors thesis, which focused on the use of outdoor education to minimize educational disparities, also drew on her love of the outdoors.
Allison plans to work for a year or two before going to law school. She already has two job offers, both of which relate to her interest in social work and law. She says her Meredith experiences have dramatically increased her capacity to bring about change.
“I am strong because I know that if I set my mind to something, I can accomplish it,” she said. “Though I’ve always worked hard, my time at Meredith has helped me to truly believe in myself. All of my experiences allowed me to practice leadership skills and grow as a person.”
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