Lt. Col. Liquori L. Etheridge isn't a man of few words but, after winning the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020, he was left speechless. Etheridge, who works in the Department of Social Work at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was named the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (Psalm 63:2 NIV).
Nature calms me and reminds me in times of doubt and feeling disconnected from God that the Creator truly is. I find assurance in the creativity of each leaf, tumbling stream, dipping valley, rolling wave, bird song and even the blade of grass surviving against all odds in the crack of the sidewalk.
The minute details of nature act like a balm to my weary soul. They remind me with a fierceness something has been here creating and is still here creating. Remembering this brings me to God’s sanctuary. Sanctuary is a word too often equated with a building. It actually means “refuge” or safety.” It means God’s very presence.
When given the opportunity to develop an innovation project for her Academic Leadership course, PHD student Kayte Thomas drew on her firsthand experience in refugee resettlement to create a program addressing a crucial obstacle for the refugee population: higher education. Through her research surrounding refugee experiences, Thomas confirmed the existence of structural barriers preventing access to a college degree. She also discovered a common thread in the need for guidance between the high school and college transition. This prompted her to create the BRIDGES program (Building Refugee Initiatives to Develop Goals for Educational Success) a peer mentorship program designed to connect college mentors with junior and senior high school students who are either refugees or children of refugees.