23 Jun Alumni Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2008 Scholar Cassie Gallegos
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2008
College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver, 2012, BA in Sociology with minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies; University of Denver, 2013, MSW with a concentration in High Risk Youth; University of Northern Colorado, 2021, Ed.S. in School Psychology
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I’ve been a school social worker in Mapleton Public Schools since graduating in 2013. In 2018 I went back to school to get my Ed.S. degree in school psychology which I just finished in May 2021. I’m excited to continue working for Mapleton because I’ve had such a wide range of opportunities to grow my skill set. I’ve worked with all ages, from preschool through 12th grade. Right now I’m working at a K-8 school and the ability to work with kids of all ages is the absolute best part of my job!
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
Being a Boettcher Scholar has given me the chance to figure out who I really want to be and how to be my best self. It gave me the chance to go to school not only once but now twice, which I know I never could have done without the support of the Boettcher community. It is my proudest accomplishment, and I strive to believe in myself the way Boettcher believed in me years ago.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
I love being a part of the Boettcher Alumni community and I try to stay involved in events as much as possible. Outside of work, my favorite activity is spending time with my family, no matter what that looks like.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was that while intelligence and knowledge go a long way, it’s the hard work and dedication that will make you stand out from the crowd and go the extra mile. For anyone entering either the education or mental health fields, the best advice I can give is to remember the importance of self-care. It’s a very challenging and very rewarding world, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. You have to remember to help yourself before you can help others.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
Let’s go on this journey together, because I’ve never really had a solid answer to this question. Lately I’ve been fascinated by sign language. Over the years I’ve picked up a few simple words and phrases from working with preschool students and students with a variety of disabilities from very mild to more severe. It’s been so much fun to discover. This brings someone like Helen Keller to mind because she was such an advocate for disability rights, and of course to have the chance to learn about sign language too.