Student Spotlight: Sonji Gathright

Sonji Gathright headshot

Class Year: May 2024

Degree Program: Master of Social Work

What made you choose this area of study?

I want to empower people to explore their mental health in a safe, healthy way so that they can grow and develop as part of our ever-changing world. Social work provides a space to do this on a therapeutic level while also working in the community around me and advocating for those in need. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live well and embrace self-development.

Why did you choose CWRU/the Mandel School?

As a Cleveland native, I know the highly respected reputation that CWRU holds, especially in the social work world. Adding to my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I knew that pursuing my graduate education at CWRU would open doors for me to pursue my professional goals from right here in the city that has made me who I am. The faculty and student support network has been amazing from start (admissions) to finish (graduation), and I am a proud member of the CWRU community!

What's your favorite thing about CWRU/the Mandel School or your favorite memory?

I enjoyed meeting first-year students at the Mandel School's Field Placement Fair, and encouraging those who felt anxious about finding placements.

As a graduating student, what's a piece of advice/encouragement you'd like to share with current students?

Time management is your best friend! Remember to optimize your time but also prioritize self care. 

What are your post graduation plans?

I completed my field education at Your Recovery Counseling in Beachwood, Ohio, and am happy to accept a full-time position as counselor and community resource manager! I dedicate my success to my grandmother, JoAnn Tate, as well as my mentor, Rev. Valerie Scott, beloved clinic director of Your Recovery Counseling, both of whom passed away in 2023. Both contributed immensely to my completion of this program.