Tom Cook

Tom Cook '11

I am a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), working with youth who have aged out of the foster care system at age 18 to help transition them into adulthood. The focus is on building independent living skills and post-secondary education.

Without my psychology major, I never would have been eligible to get licensed in the State of Maine as an LSW-C, to then go on and receive my LSW. The breadth of knowledge I learned as a Psychology student allowed me to enter the social work field with confidence and also provided me a different perspective than most of my coworkers who were social work majors. I was quickly trusted to take on high-severity child abuse and neglect cases, interfacing with individuals who suffer from mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and severe trauma histories. 

If I hadn’t had the internship experiences I had at UNE and then thereafter, I would not hold my current position working with 18-21 year old foster youth. I was told this after my job interview when I was told I was the best candidate for the job. There were other more seasoned state workers who applied for the job who had many more years experience than myself. Management reported to me they were able to hire me because of my education versus the years of service. Education is everything! Mine was great and I feel so fortunate to have received it! 

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