PCDE Student Stories | Tori Garber

ShipPCDE Student Journey: Earning degree @ Dixon University Center - Harrisburg
Where are you from?

Harrisburg, PA 

What year are you graduating?


What is your program/major?

Bachelor of Social Work

What are your future career goals?

Master’s degree in Social Work, Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker  | See program

Internship Experience:

What is/was your role and responsibilities?

Maintaining a caseload of 5 in the General Protective (GPS) Unit at Lebanon County Children and Youth Services. Shadowing caseworkers in other units. Aided in the implementation of the agency’s Quality Service Review. 

How did you choose this internship?

I heard about the CWEB grant program and was interested in working with children. 

What will you take away from this experience that you can apply to your future career?

Viewing the family unit with a holistic perspective, and not everything is black and white in child welfare. 

What have you learned throughout your Shippensburg University education that has been most helpful during your internship?

Being able to communicate effectively with clients without judgement or preconceived notions.

How has Shippensburg University prepared you for your future?

My view of the world has changed so drastically. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I perceive others.

Did you have previous experience, knowledge, or background in the content area of your chosen program?  

Not at all! I had no idea what social work was. I first learned of social work while I was studying Human Services at HACC, and knew it was the right field for me.

What surprised you in taking some of the courses? How different they are from any other course I have taken.

Each class was filled with rich discussion about advocacy and seeking justice for the less fortunate and disenfranchised. I was so excited each week to get to class.

Did you have any difficulty getting through your coursework once you were enrolled in your program?

Not at all. I believe social work comes naturally. In fact I’ve had more difficulty getting through my general education credits at HACC.

How do you plan to use your certificate, degree, or new knowledge and experience? Can you share a professional goal of yours?

I plan on continuing to work with children and their families in the child welfare profession. I will be starting the master’s program at Shippensburg this Summer. I would like to one day work in private practice, hopefully still working with children. 

Any tips for future students?

Open your mind, and don’t be afraid to challenge everything you know about yourself and others.

Any favorite courses, experiences, or faculty moments you’d like to share?

I loved so many of the courses I took over the last 2 and a half years at Shippensburg. I would say one of my favorites is Practice with Individuals as well as Human Relations Lab.