Caroline Garrett, ’19, aims to change the world through advocacy. With a passion for helping others, she is pursuing degrees in social work and psychology with a minor in sociology.
As a psychology major, Caroline has been able to be a part of the Meredith Autism Program (MAP). “I started taking the autism practicum courses at MAP during the first semester of my freshman year,” said Caroline. “I took all three practicum courses and am now a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) working there part-time.”
One of the reasons Caroline got involved with MAP was the requirements for her social work major and the Honors program, but she also had personal motivation.
“I had read about the Meredith Autism Program when I was in the process of applying to Meredith, and it’s a great opportunity to get clinical experience as an undergraduate,” said Caroline. “I have a personal connection to autism and wanted to learn more about working with children who are on the spectrum.”
When looking at colleges, Caroline had a few key specifics she was looking for: a small campus, promising connections, and the chance to study abroad.
“When I came for Scholars’ Weekend to interview for the Honors program, I heard wonderful things from Meredith students about the opportunities for leadership development, involvement in campus organizations, and close relationships with faculty,” said Caroline.
Needless to say, one thing led to another and Caroline has been at Meredith ever since. She was able to work with the Meredith Herald, and fulfilled her goal to study abroad, focusing on social work for a month in Paris.
Caroline has felt her confidence grow with each opportunity she has taken on, crediting her advisers, professors, and the Honors Program for giving her a push. “My advisers and professors have always been nothing but encouraging to me,” said Caroline. “Some of my favorite academic experiences have been with the Honors program.”
She felt heard and supported in pursuing her goals at Meredith. “My ideas for research were accepted and encouraged by my professors, and any time I wanted to learn more they were available with additional readings and resources to help me out.”
Caroline describes her growth process at Meredith as a development of leadership. “Looking back before I started my time at Meredith, I never would have pictured myself as a leader because I’m an introvert and I always thought leaders had to be outgoing and charismatic.”
Being involved in student organizations encouraged her to apply for leadership positions as they became available. Caroline has participated in programs such as Officer Training, the Sophie Lanneau Women’s Leadership Development Program, and the Student Leadership and Service spring break trip, which have all fostered her leadership skills.
She has held leadership roles including secretary, treasurer, and vice president across several campus organizations, including Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society, POETS, and Better Together.
Caroline’s leadership development has also fostered her strengths, namely those that align with her passion for advocacy. Caroline discovered through Meredith’s StrongPoints program that she has the strength of input, which means the gathering of information. She has used that strength to research multiple fields, such as political science and sociology, to better understand social work and how to be a more effective social worker.
She will take what she’s learned at Meredith with her as she pursues graduate degrees. She will attend UNC-Chapel Hill for a Master of Social Work in the one-year advanced standing program and then a Master of Public Health, which she expects to complete in 2022.
Caroline’s journey at Meredith has helped her realize her ambitions and grow in confidence.
“I learned not to limit myself, and to be confident in what I know and what I have to offer.”
By Sydney Cooper, ’19
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