Social Work Month Student Feature: Lindsay

Name: Lindsay McCoy
Degree & Graduation Year: BSW, class of 2023 with a minor in Gender Studies and a certificate in Maternal and Child Health.

Can you tell us about your experience at ECU/HHP thus far? 
ECU to me means family. I have met my best friends through East Carolina University.  I moved four hours away from home, and I did not come to college with many people from my high school. It was the most nerve wracking thing, and completely out of my comfort zone. ECU made the transition easy. The people I met my freshman year, we have all stuck together throughout our ECU experience, and to be a Pirate means so much to me. We all truly bleed Purple and Gold here, and we are all a big ECU family. Ever since I stepped on Campus, I felt like I belonged. The faculty here at ECU cares about me! I would stay after class to ask questions and get to know my professors, and to have professors care about my education and wanting to see me succeed means the world to me. I could not have asked for a better ECU Family for the past four years, I have truly loved every moment.

Can you tell us about what you’re involved in here at ECU? 
During my time at East Carolina I was involved in the Service Sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma, from 2019-2021. Gamma Sigma Sigma allowed me to find my passion in helping others through service, I also met a lot of special people while being apart of Gamma Sigma Sigma. I was the service vice president in 2020 and the President of Gamma Sigma Sigma in 2021. I also have been apart of Bachelor of Social Work Student Association (BSWSA) since 2021. During 2022, I served on the Exec board of BSWSA, and my role was secretary. I was in charge of keeping up with members volunteer hours, donations, attendance, and sending recap emails. I have absolutely loved being apart of BSWSA and getting to know future social workers, and people who have a passion in giving back to our community.

What brought you to ECU?
What brought me to ECU is our Campus! It is absolutely beautiful, and I loved how much the students were involved on Campus, making it easy to find what you are interested in. Originally came to ECU for an intended nursing major. About halfway through my first semester, I quickly learned I did not want to be a nurse. I learned about social work in my COAD nursing class, and fell in love with the field. I switched my major the next day! I may have not always known what I wanted to do, and that is okay! ECU is extremely supportive, and when I wanted to change my major to social work, I had all of the support behind me for a smooth transition.

Why do you want to enter the field of Social Work?
I wanted to enter the Social Work field because I love being out in the community. I love getting to know people on a personal level and to support one another. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and to advocate for human rights. Social Work allows me to do both. Entering social work will not be a typical 9-5, each day in the field is going to be different, and I love that. I also wanted to enter the field of social work because I want to help people, and social work allows me to take my values I have to help others in my community. I wanted to enter the field of social work to let people know it is okay to ask for help, we are here to help in any way we can.

What is your favorite aspect of Social Work?
My favorite aspect of Social Work is social work is everywhere! There are so many different fields of social work to choose from depending on the population I want to work for. I love the aspect of being able to learn about different fields of social work, and how they all can work together to create a better outcome for induvials, communities, families, and organizations.

Tell us about your favorite Social Work course or professor(s)?
My favorite Social Work class was Pre-Field with Professor Mayo. Professor Mayo has truly made an impact on my experience at ECU. While having all the nerves for field, and not knowing how it will go in your internship, Pre-Field is meant to prepare you for field. Everyone in your Pre-Field class is having similar emotions, questions, and concerns. Professor Mayo made me feel like I was not alone and truly prepared me for my internship I am in right now.

What kind of setting or future job do you hope to have upon graduation?
The setting I have upon graduation is to obtain my Master of Social Work from East Carolina University. I have recently been accepted into the MSW- Advance Standing Program at ECU, and I am so excited to continue my education at a university that I love so much.

Tell us about your current internship/field placement or where you hope to intern?
Currently my internship is at a Health Department, and I am interning for an OB Case Manager for High- Risk Pregnancies, also known as CMHRP. CMHRP is for pregnant women and birthing people who are at high-risk of having adverse birth outcomes. Our goal as an OB Case Manager is to work with pregnant women and birthing people through their pregnancy and until the baby turns two months old. I help complete OB- Comprehensive Needs Assessments to see if women have WIC in place for their pregnancy, if they have transportation needs, what they have collected for the baby, and so much more. I have loved being at my internship, and I could not ask for a better supervisor to intern under!

This year’s theme for social work month is breaking barriers. How do you plan to use your education, experience and passion for the field to help break barriers for those you work with and in the community?
I plan to help break barriers through my education, experience, and passion for those I work with in the field of social work and in the community through advocating for human rights. Before I took Social Work Policy II, I did not understand how much of an affect our policies in our nation affect the welfare of people. While learning we need change to help people, the change has to start in our policies. I plan to help break the barrier by first attending my first ever NASW Advocacy Day, which is on March 1st, 2023. Meeting with legislators, and coming up with an agenda to better help the Social Work field and all the people we serve as social workers. In order to help more people, we need our policies to line up with the change we need to better serve.

Any words of advice for current or prospective students? 
My word of advice is it is okay to not know what you want to do! I had a whole different plan coming into college, and as a senior at ECU, my plan has changed drastically. Find what you are passionate in, and go for it! If I did not change my major, I would have never found Social Work. After my switch into Social Work, my grades drastically improved because I cared about what I was learning and I loved all my classes and my professors in the Social Work Field. Making the change was worth it, and it was scary at the time, but you have to do what is best for you! You get to make your college experience, make it count!

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your passion for Social Work?
The people in my cohort have made my BSW experience absolutely wonderful. To think that not even two years ago, we all did not know each other very well and never really talked outside of class, we have now bonded and supported one another throughout our time at ECU. I know that the people in my Social Work class will make great Social Workers, and are going to make a difference in the world. We all have to collaborate together, and in social work, I love collaborating with others and hearing their amazing ideas and thoughts. Social Work has brought me to know so many wonderful individuals, I cannot wait to see what is instore for the future.