Meet Ms. Laura Mitchell, a social worker who started her passion for helping students here at Benedictine seven years ago. On her career path, she first earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and later Master’s in Social Work at Salisbury University.
“The best part of my job is helping students build independence in their communication and working through challenges,” said Laura. “I love that I can be that for our students, and to have those day-to-day interactions that always brings a smile to my face.”
Starting in 2011, Laura was an Education Assistant in the Functional Academics 2 classroom, and then taught for three years in the Total Communications 2 classroom. She went on to spend two years teaching in public schools before returning to Benedictine in 2016 teaching in Functional Academics 1.
“I realized after my time away from Benedictine that this was where I needed to stay,” said Laura. “ I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree and continue to work with the special needs population, but wasn’t quite sure what avenue to go until one day I realized that social work was my true passion.
Her start in the social work field began with an internship at the School working with Ms. Nancy. From there she took on a ‘caseload’ and began helping other social workers with case management and counseling. During her residential based internship she worked with Ms. Amanda on residential projects, led an after-school art program, and helped to coach a cheerleading team and assisted with student support groups.
For social workers, it’s not just students, but parents and staff from all programs which they are a resource for.
“I enjoy helping the parents. As a mother, I try to put myself in the parent’s shoes to provide the best support I can. Many of our students are nonverbal and need an advocate to make sure their needs are met.”
In the summer of 2019, Laura started her position as case manager. While new in her professional role here, Laura has a variety of experience demonstrating the many ways that the social work discipline enhances programs and student success. More importantly, Laura has found her passion in life.
“My students teach me something new every single day, and I am blessed to have found my dream job.”