Kylee Straka

Class Year



Racine, WI


Social Work





“Social workers are very important advocates for marginalized groups in society.”

Kylee Straka, ’20

Career goal

“After graduating Carthage, I’m not sure what setting I’d like to work in yet, but I’d like to work with children.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I started at Carthage as a psychology major and didn’t actually switch to social work until my sophomore year. I met with my psychology advisor to discuss career goals, and she suggested that I meet with Danielle Geary, a social work professor, to discuss switching majors. During my meeting with Dani, she helped me realize that my true passion is social work. She became my advisor and even helped me get a scholarship for the upcoming school year. She improved the quality of my college life by being an excellent professor and advisor.”

Favorite class

Trauma Across Social Contexts. It is a social work elective course that can be taken by all majors. It was extremely informative and very interesting to learn about how trauma affects brain chemistry and development.”

Campus involvement

I was recently accepted to Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society. I am excited to be involved in an organization specifically for social work majors!”

Internships or on-campus employment

Yes! I have had two internships. The first was at Wadewitz Elementary School, shadowing the school social worker. I sat in on meetings with children, parents, and teachers. I also went to staff meetings and helped the social worker with some day-to-day things that she does. This is where I decided that I want to work children. The following semester, I interned at Kenosha Human Development Services in the foster care program. This involved going to home visits at foster homes and meeting with biological parents and social workers with the foster care consultant that I shadowed. Both were very valuable experiences that I enjoyed. This year, I will be participating in a 450-hour intensive field placement at Wadewitz Elementary School. I’ll be able to run my own student groups this time as well as participate in the same things as last time I interned at Wadewitz.”


“I received a Carthage Academic Honors scholarship. Receiving this scholarship was amazing because it has taken a significant amount of financial burden off my shoulders.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“During my sophomore year, I helped with freshman orientation which was a lot of fun. I met people on the orientation staff that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and it helped me to feel more connected to Carthage. I was also a student success coach during my sophomore year, so I helped freshmen throughout their first semester to adjust to college life. Finally, I didn’t realize that social work is a very small major. I have made many great friends in my fellow social work majors.”

Favorite spot on campus

“The stairs in Straz with the big cushions. As a commuting student, it is nice to have a comfortable place to relax during breaks in classes.”

Biggest surprise so far

“How fast time has gone. Four years sounds like a long time, but it really isn’t.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would probably be very surprised that I’m not on my way to becoming a veterinarian and had no idea what a social worker was.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Social work is not an easy major or a high-paying profession, but social workers are very important advocates for marginalized groups in society.”

Why Carthage?

The campus is really beautiful and close to home. I also received many fantastic scholarships from Carthage.”