Student Spotlight: Crystal Sledge

Crystal Sledge headshot

Class Year: May 2025

Degree Program: MSW Intensive Weekend

Concentration: Children, Youth and Families

Hometown: Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Field Education OrganizationProject LIFT in Cleveland, Ohio — recognized as one of the Mandel School's 2023 Outstanding Field Organizations!

Describe your field education practicum experience and any work/projects you have done.

Project LIFT is a prevention and social justice agency that provides therapy, life skills courses and wellness pop-up programs to Black males in Northeast Ohio. Since starting my field education practicum, I have had the opportunity to learn about social justice issues that impact Black men in Cleveland, Ohio.

I enjoy participating in the wellness pop-ups that are held at local barbershops in the Black community. We are able to connect with men in the community, talk about trauma, mental health, HIV prevention and awareness, and provide resources that are available through our agency.

What are you doing in field that you’re planning to bring with you into your career?

I am learning to listen and examine what is happening to the individual and their experiences in life. This is key to understanding how to truly help an individual. Too often individuals are given a diagnosis but lack culturally-sensitive interventions that can truly help them cope in their daily life.

What is something you have learned during your practicum that you have found to be the most helpful in your social work journey?

Meeting clients where they are in life and giving them the space and the freedom to express themselves in a way that works best for them.

Who is someone you met during your field education that will change the way you practice?

My field instructor, LaToya Logan, who is also the CEO and founder of Project LIFT Services!