Sydney Drennen is a graduate student pursing a Masters in Social Work with a focus area in Health and Behavioral Health and a certification in Violence and Injury Prevention. She is actively engaged in Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis having earned a certificate in the program and currently serving as a CAST Active Learning Assistant. She has a demonstrated commitment to community service through both volunteer work and community engaged academic activities. Sydney has a passion for social work and particularly for working with children and families who have experienced trauma. She has been involved in projects supporting organizations that provide suicide prevention and awareness services in the St. Louis metropolitan area as well as programs working with indigenous people in other parts of the United States. Recognizing that diversity, empathy and equity are foundational, she understands that collaboration and advocacy are vital for effectively addressing social challenges.
As a Bachelor of Social Work graduate with a certificate in Child Advocacy Studies, I am now pursuing my graduate studies at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. My passion is in working with traumatized children and their families, though I am broadening my focus to persons impacted by additional traumas like police brutality, sex trafficking, and environmental discrimination. I aspire to support changes necessary for the advancement of indigenous populations. I have had the pleasure of immersing myself in the culture of the Lakota people of South Dakota, and have had the incredible opportunity of supporting a cohort of Alaskan Native Child Advocates through the Active Learning Assistant program. I believe that much of social change requires a team of collaborative leaders who keep empathy and equity in the forefront of their minds. Collaboration with diverse individuals to promote the wellbeing of our own communities is key to understanding, addressing, and evaluating strategies for eradicating social problems as a whole. As a Campus Compact Newman Fellow, I am eager to further develop skills in effective communication; identify implementation strategies for programs and interventions; and form connections with a rich network of intelligent, driven leaders for social change.