Upon completing high school in Raymond, Metcalf attended the University of Washington to study social welfare, during which time she also held two part-time jobs. She worked with the University Health Education Programs, providing health education on campus her first two years of college.
“Additionally, I had an internship my junior and senior year,” Metcalf explained. “The first was at Planned Parenthood Votes as a Public Relations Intern, during which I did political advocacy and community organizing. After my internship concluded, I was asked to be the president of the university chapter and revive the membership and campus presence my senior year. Throughout the year, our student organization increased membership, established a coalition between six student organizations and held campus-wide events.”
During her senior year of undergraduate college, she worked at the Downtown Emergency Service Center, providing case management and outreach to at-risk individuals who experience chronic homelessness and severe mental illness. “It was through this experience that I become passionate about working with this population,” Metcalf said.
She graduated from UW with a Bachelor’s of Social Welfare with a 3.52 GPA in June 2013.
Metcalf began graduate school at New York University in August 2013, studying a Master’s of Social Work. As an “advanced standing student” because of her recent degree from UW, she was able to complete her graduate program within one year, finishing with a 3.69 GPA.
“I chose NYU because I had heard it had one of the best clinical social work programs in the nation,” Metcalf explained. “My experience at NYU has been outstanding—I have learned and grown in the exact way that I had hoped to.”
During her Master’s program, she completed an internship at the Center for Urban Community Services, a non-profit organization that serves NYC boroughs. Her internship turned into full-time employment after she finished her degree last month. “I do counseling and case management with 19 individuals in a supportive housing building. These are individuals who experience mental illness and were homeless before being housed here,” she explained.
Metcalf decided to pursue a career in social work because she is passionate about working with and serving others. “Since my time at Raymond High School, I have dedicated myself to giving back to the community and this very much continues to shape my motivation. I am also passionate about advocacy and empowerment—social work allows me to combine all of these areas,” she said.
Metcalf learned the value of hard work while achieving her dreams, but she also recognizes that support is a necessary ingredient for success. “I am incredibly grateful for all the encouragement and guidance I have received over the years,” she explained. “This includes family, friends, high school teachers, community members, supervisors and professors. Thus, above all else, the most important lesson I have learned is to remember where I came from and all the people who have helped me get to where I am today.”
Although she has already completed five years of school, Metcalf won’t be stopping there to further her career. “At the moment, I am awaiting the examination for my licensure (Licensed Masters Social Worker). I should obtain that licensure this summer, at which time I will be working toward my second licensure (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). That’ll take approximately three years of direct practice and supervision hours as well as another exam.”
Metcalf advised that local teens should focus on volunteering and giving back to the community to gain invaluable lessons. She also explained that individuals should reach for their goals. “It may take hard work and sacrifice, but I truly believe that most goals are achievable. I recognize that everyone has different life situations and barriers that may make working towards goals more or less difficult, and that sometimes adversity can seem so much bigger than hope. Personally, I have doubted myself many times throughout my journey, yet I never gave up. I never stopped giving it my best effort. Speaking for myself, it has paid off. . . . I hope that individuals can learn to believe in themselves and in their dreams. In the end, no dream is too big or too small.”