Sydney Wagner wanted to be a teacher. She loved working with kids, but hated public speaking. After two years of study at Purdue University Northwest, her guidance counselor suggested she switch to the social work program.
“I fell in love with it,” Sydney said.
“Along with wonderful co-workers and supervisors, I love Oaklawn’s flexibility and how accommodating they are.”
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in social work, she moved to South Bend and enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at IUSB. She also went to work full time as a care facilitator for Oaklawn, helping children, adolescents and families secure the services and supports they need to thrive.
Her time was split between the office (working on treatment plans and completing paperwork) and being out in the community (visiting clients’ homes and meeting with service providers). The job was fast-paced and a bit of a juggling act, so organization was key. But the job was immensely rewarding, she said. She helped families get food, shelter, clothing and even presents for their kids at Christmas.
After completing her MSW, Sydney moved to a therapist position. She says she’s grateful for the support she received from Oaklawn along the way.
“I love the people I work with,” she said. “I could not ask for a better group of people to be around. Along with wonderful co-workers and supervisors, I love Oaklawn’s flexibility and how accommodating they are.”