After spending time working in variety of jobs, including a customer service call center, Tnika Lewis said she was searching for a career “that would make me feel complete.”

When she went to work at her alma mater, the Harrisburg School District, she realized that career was in social work.

“I worked in the social services suite as the secretary and working with the social workers and therapists, I felt like I belonged and I was more determined to do what I needed to do in order to be able to give the children of my community the opportunity to see someone that looks like them and comes from where they come from to talk to and assist them,” said Lewis.

That job inspired her to join a cohort in the Bachelor of Social Work Degree Completion Program at Shippensburg University. It’s a program she said allowed her to learn the value of meeting people where they are and better understand different dynamics of her interaction with those people.

Designed for students who have completed an associate’s degree or earned at least 48 transferable credits, Ship’s program offers courses in Harrisburg during evening hours.

“The program has afforded me the opportunity to obtain my degree at a pace that was comfortable. I’ve made lifelong friends in this program, and I value the education I’ve been able to obtain through the cohort,” she explained.

The schedule and location were convenient but for Lewis, the program faculty are what made her experience standout.

“I’ve had so many good experiences, all of my professors contributed in different ways,” she added.

With graduation right around the corner, Lewis will continue her work with Justice Works Youth Care, hopes to complete a Master of Social Work through Ship and most importantly, wants to continue to make a difference in her community.

“The field of social work is so vast, but the essence of what we all do is helping others and our society won’t progress if we all don’t work together by helping others,” she said.