By University Communications
Friday, 11 03 2017
When West ’14 started her career as a legal caseworker for Child Protective Services, she quickly learned that her profession is an around-the-clock responsibility. There is no typical day, and every case she oversees is unique.
Sometimes, her cases prove heart wrenching. It is not unusual for her to receive calls from children from her cases in the middle of the night. Often, these children are simply yearning for a listening ear and a reliable confidant. West has proven to be that and more.
West believes her profession is more than a job—it is a calling. Long before she graduated from Texas A&M University-San Antonio, she yearned to help children whose families are plagued with addiction and abuse. As a daughter of an addict, West wanted ensure that other children with similar upbringings have the resources and support they need to not only survive, but thrive. Because of her relatability and professionalism, she is a trusted source for children when their parents are completing court-ordered addiction and counseling classes.
West attributes many of her professional skills to what she learned as a student at Texas A&M-San Antonio. As a military wife, whose husband was active duty, West made a few stateside and one transcontinental move during the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree. West’s husband was eventually stationed in her hometown of San Antonio, and upon her return, West enrolled at A&M-San Antonio to complete her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in criminology.
“Even though I was a first-generation student, a mom with a young kid and not just out of high school— I still felt like I belonged,” says West.
West says an abnormal psychology course taught by Associate Professor K.C. Kalmbach, Ph.D. was her favorite undergraduate experience because it challenged her. She continuous to utilize the knowledge and skills she learned from Dr. Kalmbach in her career to identify abnormal parental behaviors.
West believes her career and education is a fulfillment of her destiny. “It was all worth it,” she says. “When I get to witness a reunion with a family, it is definitely worth it.”
Currently, West is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at A&M-San Antonio. Upon graduation, she will continue working with children—positively influencing their lives one case at a time.