Service Array:
Individual Skill Development and Enhancement

I was born in Waupaca, Wisconsin. My parents divorced when I was young, so I grew up in different parts of the Waupaca County area. Growing up I loved spending my time reading, listening to music, making art, and exploring the outdoors. I also knew from a very young age that I wanted to help others, but it wasn’t until working through my own challenges that I was sure how I wanted to take that path.  

I went to a very small school, and I found it hard to connect and fit in. I struggled, especially when others I grew up around made negative comments about me and my appearance. I lost confidence within myself, and I found myself in a position where I did not have a healthy relationship with myself, body image, and food. I began to feel isolated and lost and struggled with my mental health. I was taking on unhealthy coping mechanisms, and I lost touch with my hobbies that supported my wellness.  

Before I went off to college, I knew I wanted to make some changes in my life. Early within my college experience I found myself trying to fit in with the wrong crowds. Part of the challenge in college was trying to find where I fit in, and to do so I knew I needed to reevaluate and work on some things. With consistency, patience, and a lot of self-reflection, I was making decisions to work towards a healthier mindset, and lifestyle. I approached fitness in a different way and found exercise and activities that supported my overall wellness. I repaired my relationship with food and became more forgiving towards myself. I worked towards implementing activities I used to love and found myself on a path towards healing. I enrolled myself in an art class and rediscovered my love for art again. I continued to make changes to my lifestyle that both challenged me and supported my own personal growth and overall health. With healing, I found that I was also building and maintaining more healthy relationships.  

Halfway through college I declared myself a social work major. I had considered this path before partially because of my own family history and other family members struggling with substance abuse and addiction. I had seen the impact it had on individuals and families growing up. Working through my own challenges further confirmed that this was the path I wanted to take. I felt more confident in my life and the person I was becoming. My time in the social work program helped me continue to grow and discover new ways to support others.  

I would not change what I have experienced throughout life. My experiences have brought me to the path I am on today. I found what works for me, and what does not. I worked hard to reconnect with myself and found healing in establishing a routine that implemented fitness and other activities that I thrive off, and art that gives me peace and a form of expression. With what I have learned during my own journey, I hope to use it to help support others.