Kelsey MartinezSocial work major
Sibley, Iowa

A helping heart
Kelsey eventually wants to work with adolescents who have been abused, but she’s learned the social work profession offers endless opportunities for careers. As a student at Northwestern, she led a Spring Service Project to Lindale, Texas, where her team served with a ministry to ex-prisoners. She’s also been involved in discipleship groups and intramurals and worked as a student Admissions Ambassador. After graduating from Northwestern, Kelsey plans to enroll in graduate school and earn a master’s degree in social work.

The perfect fit
When I was looking into colleges, I knew I wouldn’t fit into a big school setting and I knew I wanted a Christian education, but I initially didn’t consider Northwestern because it was so close to my hometown. After visiting some other colleges, though, I just didn’t feel like I fit, so I decided to look into Northwestern. I was halfway through my visit when I knew it was for me. The people were amazing and so real. I loved the size of the campus and enjoyed speaking with the professors. Things just really clicked, and I’ve never regretted my decision.

Justice for all
I became a social work major because I love to help people. I took a class called At-Risk Populations and Social Justice and was struck by the realization that injustice happens every day, all around me. Social injustices are a particular ache in my heart. I want to be a strong advocate for people who don’t have a voice, and I’ve discovered I’m passionate about the issue of discrimination.

Support network
Northwestern’s social work department is like a family. We social work majors learn together, study together, struggle together, and have learned to be very open with one another.

At Northwestern, people are intentional about getting to know you, which has forced me to figure out who I actually am. Everyone grows up with a set of values from their family or friends, and you just float in that bubble while you’re in that stage of life. Since being at Northwestern, I’ve had multiple opportunities to get out of my comfort zone, think for myself, and discover what I believe and who I am.

Mindful mentors
Our social work professors are awesome. Val is one of the most incredible women I’ve met and a great social worker and friend. She’s always there to talk with about anything, and she’s amazingly intelligent. She loves learning right alongside us. Mark is very down-to-earth and does a great job using different forms of media to teach his classes. You can tell he has a passion for social work and for his students.