After interacting with patients for several years in her role as a clinical assistant at McKay Urology in Charlotte, Stephanie Savage has developed a strong desire to help people. “I noticed that the people who come through the oncology office are vulnerable and afraid and I found myself always trying to put them at ease and help them realize their strengths and resources,” she says.
Based on her experience, Savage decided to go into medical social work which requires a master’s degree. She started on her journey by enrolling at Johnson C. Smith University’s Metropolitan College to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work.
“I had the desire to return to school, but as an adult with two children, it was not feasible to quit working and return to school during the day,” says Savage. “So, when I heard of Johnson C. Smith University beginning an adult program at night, I was extremely happy. The first thing I did was contact Dr. Dezette Johnson to set up a meeting. Any reservations I may have had before I met with her about returning to school were gone after she sat with me and helped map out my future. “
As a requirement for graduation, Savage was assigned a community service project. “For a single mother like me, it is important to be a role model for my children and show them that giving back to the community is our duty,” she says. “I took them with me to do community service at the Oakdale Elementary School library. “
Savage will graduate with a 3.8 GPA. She is a member of Phi Alpha Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society as well as a member of the NABSW (National Association of Black Social Workers).
“I appreciate Johnson C . Smith University offering this program to adults like me, for it enabled me to keep my current job and pursue my education,” she says.