Anderson, Indiana

Anderson University alum lands social work dream job after graduation

Mon, 2014-07-21 10:29 -- univcomm
July 21, 2014

Andi Ley, an Anderson University 2013 graduate, landed her dream job as the community liaison for Madison County with the Children’s Bureau. One month after graduation, Ley began working with the Community Partners for Child Safety to help families become better connected with their community and the resources within. Ley’s journey to her dream job began at AU as a social work major.

As part of the AU social work program, students are required to complete three practicums and one internship, which gives students over 500 hours of experience. Through this involvement, Ley was able to gain relevant experience working with Dove Harbor in Anderson, Ind.

“My four and a half months at Dove Harbor women and children’s shelter was absolutely amazing,” said Ley. “It was great to be an intern and have hands-on experiences in case management, interviewing over the phone, and learning about resources in the community.”

Ley’s internship at Dove Harbor gave her the opportunity to work with the children of the women who were attending their group sessions. She was also able to build relationships with the women. Deanna Zimmer, director of resource development at Dove Harbor, worked with Ley throughout her time at the shelter.

“During her time with us, Andi was able to help with our Kid’s Activity Program, and she assisted resident assistants with their daily tasks,” said Zimmer.

After graduation, Ley stepped into a role as a resident volunteer, during which she lived at the shelter from the end of May 2013 through August 2013.

Ley is now working with more than 30 families through the Children’s Bureau, providing them with any assistance they may need.

“For instance, I might refer them to places to get their GED, help them set up Medicaid or Food Stamps, get emergency utility assistance, or go to a food bank,” said Ley. “There are also times when I transport my clients to the grocery store, a food pantry, intake to begin counseling, or disability appointments.”

Through her work with the Children’s Bureau, Ley believes she is where God has called her to serve.

“I absolutely believe that God placed me in the exact spot he wanted me in,” said Ley. “I originally applied for this position because I thought, with the skills and experiences I had at AU, I was qualified to be put in the position of community liaison to deliver what was required.”

Throughout her time at AU, Ley studied under Sharon Collins, professor of social work, in many of her classes. Collins commented that there is a lot of preparation that goes into landing the first professional job.

“A student must be committed to the academic preparation and becoming the person others want as a colleague,” said Collins. “Andi has developed a desirable ‘package’ that makes it possible for people to recommend her without hesitation, and it increases the likelihood that employers will want her on their team.”

Ley gives credit for her success to the professors in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and Family Science.

“I believe that AU and the social work department prepared me extremely well,” said Ley. “If it were not for the professors, I would not be in the position I am today. They were always pushing us with tough questions and situations, but they were also there for the tough life events. I will always be grateful for them and their dedication to their students.”

— Allison Kohl is a 2014 graduate from Springfield, Ohio, who majored in communication arts. Kohl was an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.