Response Magazine

Karina Woodruff

Karina WoodruffSenior Program Manager of Shelter, Outreach and Support Services at Friends of Youth

 

Bothell, Washington

Educational Ministry major 2013

As the senior program manager of Shelter, Outreach and Support Services at Friends of Youth, Woodruff supervises a staff that works to support young people experiencing homelessness. She says she has the honor of walking alongside some of the most resilient young people she has ever met as they work toward meeting their personal goals in the company’s drop-in center.

How does your time at SPU connect to the work you’re doing today?

My time at SPU was formative to the work I am doing today in the social-service sphere. As an educational ministry major, I was able to learn about ways to communicate with a variety of age groups and backgrounds. As a reconciliation studies and women’s studies minor, I learned sociological and theological perspectives for understanding systems, humanity, and community development.

Who made a difference in your SPU education?

Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, Dr. Brian Bantum, and Dr. Kevin Neuhouser were three of the most influential faculty members during my SPU career. All three of these professors supported me by making time to meet outside of classroom time. These professors helped me as I worked toward asking complex questions pertaining to race and identity.

What advice do you have for students about life after graduation?

Don’t underestimate your abilities to find a career that combines your passions and education. Take opportunities to volunteer, work, and learn in fields of work that you enjoy.

 

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