TRAINING HELPS GRADUATE IN PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE
Greg Castle planned to go into nursing or occupational therapy because he wanted to help people. His wife was a nurse, and with the stability of both of them working in the allied health field, they could build a secure financial future for their family of five.
As Castle pursued the prerequisites for the licensed practical nursing program at New River Community and Technical College, he realized that the career wasn’t a good fit for him. “I was studying anatomy and physiology and realized that nursing wasn’t what I was meant to do, but I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do next,” Castle explained.
He met with Instructor of Social Services Dr. Kelli White and discovered that he could help connect people to resources through a career in social services. The social services program at New River CTC was designed to meet the immediate need for trained service personnel in agencies in southeastern West Virginia. The curriculum prepares students to assist professionals in the social services field who hold more advanced degrees.
Castle graduated in May 2016 with an Associate of Applied Science in Social Services and works as a program coordinator for REM Community Options.REM West Virginia is a home and community-based health and human services provider. The organization provides programs and services for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“You can’t do this for the money,” Castle said. “You’ve got to have passion; passion for helping people less fortunate.” He works long hours but enjoys the work, and through his education, Castle is now in a better position to help his oldest son who is on the autism spectrum.
“I was always disappointed with the IEP [Individualized Education Program] meetings for my son. Now, I feel that I’m better prepared to help him,” Castle explained. “I have a better understanding of how things work. I’m better at voicing what he is capable of. His goal is to attend Marshall University, and I’m getting a plan in place for him.
“Completing the social services program at New River CTC helped me to better myself and gave me what I needed to support my family,” Castle added.