Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences
Kim Sloop, of Michigan City, a May graduate of Purdue University North Central is ready to use her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Sciences, looks forward to a career working with children with disabilities and their parents.
She’s been an advocate for people with spinal cord disabilities and injuries as a member of the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group. She’s been to Washington D.C. to speak to Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar and Rep. Peter Visclosky about the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, which has been signed into law.
Sloop can speak from her first-hand knowledge. She was born with Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair to get around.
“I have Spina Bifida, but spina bifida doesn’t have me. I’m not going to let it hold me back from anything,” says Sloop with a matter-of-fact determination. “I have a younger sister and my parents did not treat me any differently.”
Because she is used to having her independence, Sloop said she was pleased with the accessibility of the PNC campus.
And help was available when needed. “I also have a learning disability so the academic part of college was stressful for me, but my professors were more than willing to help me. I can’t drive and I am grateful for my friends who stepped up to give me rides and I thank you,” said Sloop.
Her hard work in and out of the classroom paid off. Her grades placed her on the semester honors list and she earned academic achievement honors through PNC Student Support Services (sSs). She also earned the sSs Student Leader Award and its Above and Beyond Award.
Last summer Sloop served an internship at St. Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City and had the opportunity to sample working with the hospital’s social workers. She also was able to spend time in other departments to get a feel for other healthcare careers.
While she wouldn’t mind going back to St. Anthony Memorial Hospital, she has given a lot of thought to her career goals.
“I plan on moving to Chicago and living in an apartment complex I found that is built specifically for young adults with Spina Bifida,” she explained. “I do want to go to Jane Addams School of Social Work for my master’s degree.”
She’s even planned that she would like to complete her master’s degree internships at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital for children. She was a patient at both hospitals until age 18 and she believes this is an ideal opportunity to give something back to the medical professionals who did so much to help her.
“My goal is to get a job at Shriner’s,” she said, explaining that her life experience puts her in the position to understand that the patients are experiencing medically and emotionally.
Her advice for students wondering if they should go to college and if they’ll succeed is simple, “Give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed. Your toughest years, are your freshman and sophomore years after that it gets fun, don’t give up. PNC is a great place. The professors are more than willing to help.”