Hello! My name is Michelle Maddex and I am a sociology alum from the class of 2013. My time at Santa Clara continues to impact me and I’m forever grateful for how my sociology professors and classes influence me every day. After graduating from SCU I moved to El Salvador for a year. I studied abroad with the Casa de la Solidaridad as a junior and went back to work with the program to continue to learn from the Salvadoran people. While there it quickly became clear that direct service, specifically working with women in marginalized communities, was the most life-giving way I could spend my time.
This led me to Boston College to pursue a Masters in Social Work and Theology. Throughout my time at BC, my sociology background gave me a systemic perspective as a foundation for understanding clinical interventions. After graduating in May 2017, I moved back to the Bay Area to work at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco. I provide therapy and case management in an integrated setting, where I work with medical providers to best support the clinic population. The majority of the clinic’s patients are Central American immigrants.
During my time at SCU, I worked as a research assistant on a project about first generation immigrant college students and wrote my thesis on the role of immigrant parents in education. These projects and many of my classes are particularly influential in my work today. As a therapist often working one-on-one, it is important to me to always understand how systemic barriers and oppression affect the people I work with. I hope to empower them to understand that they are not the problem and to avoid pathologizing them by holding an awareness of the complicated layers of systemic oppression that are causing suffering. I owe so much of my growth and path to my professors and classmates in the Sociology Department at SCU and truly could not have been better prepared!