As a member of the Collective, I look forward to sharing my professional social work training (BSW, Winthrop University) as well as my personal social justice values. As part of my undergraduate field placement studies, I interned at Time Out Youth in Charlotte, NC, a not-for-profit organization that serves LGBTQ+ youth in the region. Here, I witnessed the power of community-building and the strength of building interpersonal relationships. Based on these experiences, I hope to bring to the Collective my attentiveness to therapeutic communication and a hope that we will all cultivate our communication skills based on empathy and understanding for our different ways of knowing and navigating the world. As of May 2016, I returned to my alma mater to pursue a Master's degree in Social Work in order to further enhance my knowledge and understanding of the work that I love.