Senior Brittany Jones began her Trevecca career as an English major, but it only took one social work class to reveal her calling.
“I debated social work [as a major]. I started as an English major,” Jones said. “Then, I took the Intro to Social Work class, and I changed my major. I felt that was what God had called me to.”
Jones said she “just connected” with social work. The class helped her to realize the wide variety of services and career paths available within social work.
“I’ve always liked psychology and sociology,” Jones said. “When you hear about social work, people often think about child protective services. I didn’t know there was so much more involved [in social work]. I’ve just loved every class, and I love the faculty.”
Jones will graduate from Trevecca this weekend. A transfer student, she first earned an associate degree in general studies from Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tenn. Jones is also a U.S. Army veteran. Enlisted from ages 18-23, Jones deals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her diagnosis ignited a desire to help others, one she quickly found social work filled.
“I have PTSD, and I’ve overcome a lot, so I wanted to use my experiences to help people in the future,” Jones said. “My experiences gave me insight. I also know a lot about how programs help people. Since I’ve been through therapy, I kind of have a 360-degree view, but I had a lot to learn [about social work].”
In the future, Jones wants to “give back” by working with organizations like The Wounded Warrior Project or Veterans Affairs, building on her training and experiences as a veteran. But before that, she plans to earn her master’s degree in social work.
“I’ve been accepted to Union University with advanced standing,” Jones said. “I’m really excited about pursuing my master’s and, hopefully, I can come back to adjunct [at Trevecca] at some point. That’s my goal.”
Trevecca’s social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the only accrediting body in the United States for social work programs. This accreditation allows graduates of the program to receive advanced standing when applying to master’s programs, which allows them to complete a master’s degree in a shorter time frame.
Jones will begin working toward her master’s degree in August. She’s grateful for the way Trevecca has prepared her for her work.
“The program really has given me a broader worldview of people from different faiths and different backgrounds,” Jones said. “Trevecca is just a great school.”
As the semester—and her Trevecca career—draws to a close, Jones is tying up loose ends. She recently completed her field placement internship at Resources for Human Development, logging more than 400 hours serving under a practicing social worker, Areis Lurry, and Trevecca’s field placement director, Elizabeth Nunley.
“Bri will make a wonderful social worker, and her field placement experience only confirmed that,” said Nunley, who also serves as an assistant professor of social work at Trevecca. “She is one of the most open and non-judgmental people I have ever met. Bri has a heart for those often overlooked by society, and she served the clients at her internship with enthusiasm, compassion and acceptance. Bri’s positive attitude, curiosity and willingness to make the best of all situations will serve her well in her future career.”
Jones will graduate on May 4, alongside more than 960 graduates expected to take part in the Commencement Convocation. The University will confer more than 1,000 degrees on Saturday. Among the crowd of friends, family members and well-wishers, Jones expects to see her parents, sister and best friend.
“They’re excited to see me graduate,” she said, “My mom has her master’s, so she’s excited to see me get my bachelor’s and start my master’s. My parents are really proud of me.”