GHC Intern Awarded Loyola University Chicago PACES Scholarship
Elizabeth Macias, a Mental Health Intern with Gads Hill Center (GHC), is pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at Loyola University Chicago. Last week, Elizabeth was awarded a $25,000 Pathways to Academic, Career and Employment Success Scholarship, or PACES Scholarship, through Loyola. The goal of the scholarship is to train economically, academically, ethnically and/or environmentally disadvantaged MSW graduate students who want to pursue clinical social work careers in primary care sites within medically underserved communities following their graduation.
For her internship, Elizabeth provides mental health support at William H. Seward Communication Arts Academy Elementary School in Back Of The Yards, where she's learning how serve students through a clinical approach. She also works with Building Leaders, the youth program at GHC's Pilsen site where she assists in providing a therapeutic environment for group and individual activities. Elizabeth, who attended nearby Cristo Rey High School, was drawn back to the Pilsen area for this opportunity.
Regarding her experiences at GHC, Elizabeth explains that "after accepting the internship, I knew this was where I belonged. Gads Hill Center has given me the opportunity to grow into a different specialty. My specialization is in Children and Families, and Mental Health was not my main scope of interest — until now. I am grateful to have the clinician I work with at GHC because he is extremely knowledgeable and great at his job. This internship keeps me on my toes and challenges me every day. It is a continuous learning process, and I'm excited to see how much I'll grow by the end of the academic year."
After she completes her degree, Elizabeth has many aspirations: to "feed and shelter individuals and families in need," and "to do everything I possibly can" for others, including opening a group home. "Once my internship with GHC is over," she continues, "I will have the tools and confidence to continue on this path and help others. For now, I'll stick to what I can do today and we'll see if I accomplish everything else!"
At Gads Hill Center, we are indebted to the dedicated students and emerging professionals like Elizabeth who contribute to our mission through internships in departments across the agency. For more information about current internships and other employment opportunities at GHC, visit the Careers Page of our website. We're always looking for talented, mission-driven individuals to join the GHC family!