Occupation: Paraprofessional, Elementary School
Guardian ad Litem, Children in Foster Care
Meredith Mortimer talks about how the skills she’s learning in her Interdisciplinary Studies courses helps her in her daily job.
“Having an IDS degree with minors in Human Services and Psychology arms me with a valuable toolkit to be an effective teacher and advocate for at risk children. Some of the skills, values, and traits of an interdisciplinarian are appreciation for diversity, empathy, the ability to think creatively and intuitively, and a willingness to work with others.
“I work as a paraprofessional in an elementary school and volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care. The school system in my county serves children largely at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Having an interdisciplinary approach allows me to approach the students’ needs more holistically and helps me to recognize that educational shortfalls and behavior issues may be caused by a variety of reasons such as home life, inadequate nutrition, mental illness, or family structure.
“As a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, I have the privilege of getting to know a child and being their voice when they go to court. I must collaborate with other agencies on behalf of the child such as the Department of Children and Families, the county court system, and with the schools. As an interdisciplarian, I know the importance of being able to think creatively, intuitively, and collaborate successfully with the other agencies to do what is in the best interest of the child.”