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Laura Bodde

M.S.W. Class of 2010

Returning to school at the age of 38 was not an easy choice for me. I am "Mom" to an amazing 10-year-old boy and had been living in Alaska for over 20 years. I owned a successful therapeutic preschool, and I knew if I were to return to school, it needed to be for the best possible clinical training. I spoke with many practicing social workers and the unanimous choice was for Smith, even in talking with those who had attended other schools.

Any Smith student will tell you this program is rigorous and demanding. You will be asked to reflect and change in ways you might not have expected. My first-year internship was at Culver City Middle and High School in Los Angeles. I worked with adolescents in a free, campus-based clinic doing individual and group psychotherapy with supervision that was impeccable. The experience was life changing. My second-year internship was at the St. John's Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica. I worked with children from the ages of two through 18 and their families. The training and exposure to multiple modalities of practice expanded my understanding of clinical work and its interface with larger systems.

I am leaving this program, as I entered, with the plan of pursuing a Ph.D. in social work and a specialization in analytic work with children living in poverty. I could not be better prepared. The classroom discussions, learning from the best and the brightest in the field, the thesis requirement, and the internship experiences contributed to a sense of confidence that I have been meticulously prepared to be the best possible clinical social worker I can be. I am grounded in a way I believe only this program can provide. I go on to doctoral work knowing that I have much yet to learn but also a deepened passion for the field and much to contribute, thanks to my intense and immensely valuable experience at Smith.