Kady Valois' passion for helping others and her love for children led to her interest in social work, but it was a random call for jury duty that truly peaked her interest.
The summer before Kady started college, she was called for jury duty and was selected for a case dealing with child advocacy.
"I watched the child advocate work with the kids and was absolutely blown away, by her and how she was there for those kids. This inspired my need for helping others," she said.
Last summer, Kady, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, went to India for three months to work and live with special needs orphans.
"They really continued my inspiration for children, and also gave me a heart for children with disabilities that I never knew I had," she said.
Kady's experiences through volunteering and the lessons she has learned at the Baylor School of Social Work have given her a heart for helping people and to become more involved. Kady works with disabled kids and horses in McGregor at a center called REACH. She has learned that equine therapy is a good way to help kids with physical and mental disabilities.
The Baylor School of Social Work has also helped Kady serve others by giving her a broader perspective on the Waco community. Last year during a poverty simulation, Kady was exposed to parts of the city she had never seen before, or even knew existed. In her Human Behavior class, she is learning about why people act in certain ways and different techniques used to engage clients.
"All of these things, have helped me to engage [with] people in a different way," she said.
Kady had found that social work is more about listening, caring and being there for the client, rather than just setting goals and meeting them. "I think the world is not as black and white as I would like it to be. I want to go to law school, and I want to do child advocacy, but being in all my classes, I see that there is much more gray in the world. Things need to be taken on in a case-by-case basis, and not just, this is right and this is wrong," she said.
Kady is minoring in political science and plans to attend law school after graduation concentrating on child advocacy and international law. She believes that disparity between wealth and poverty, or country-to-country are some of the biggest issues the world is currently facing. "I feel like there are many people in a lot of countries that are left behind and there's no one there to help them or pick them up," she said. This is why she believes working with children is so important.
"If you can bridge that gap while they're young, there's a much better hope for them in the future."