Date of Award
Professor Carrie Sharp
Dr. Doug Reed
Dr. William Viser
If my life were to represent a novel, the beginning chapters would be filled with countless stories of people pouring into and investing in me to ensure that I have a successful future. As I have aged and started to appreciate all that has been done for me, I want to make sure the chapters that finish my novel are filled with stories of me giving back to others and my community.
During my time at Ouachita Baptist University, I have been given incredible opportunities to serve those around me. One example would be through my internship at the Percy and Donna Malone Child Safety Center. I had the privilege to learn more about child abuse and what it looked like outside of a “textbook story.” I was able to pour into children coming from broken homes and invest in helping them find peace with their personal stories. I not only saw the damage abuse could have on a family, but I also saw the good that could come from centers directed towards helping a child heal and how the legal system helped provide justice in those specific cases.
Because of my learning experiences in the last few years inside and outside the classroom, I have discovered within myself a strong desire to pursue law. While there is a substantial need for counselors and teachers to be integral parts of these families and children’s lives, there is a large need for compassionate lawyers as well. Even though the law was something I considered when I was younger, the real-life stories and cases I have witnessed in the last three years have only strengthened my desire to give back and help others like I have seen people do with me.
As I am at the point where I have begun narrowing down what I want my focus to be within the field of law, I have felt a burning passion for helping children in the foster care system. After looking into more of the foster care information for the state of Arkansas, I realized there was so much information that people needed to hear. I think the widely held belief that helping with foster care can only be done by being a foster parent is something that needs to be reformed, as there are many ways to become involved and to help children. That is what ultimately led me to more research and becoming interested in foster care in its entirety.
Smith, Rachel M., "An Overview of Foster Care" (2020). Honors Theses. 746.