We are pleased to announce that Catie Stallworth, a 2018 Masters of Science in Child Life graduate, is our August 2022 Alumni of the month. Catie serves as the Programs Director and first Child Life Specialist for Camp Happy Days, a non-profit organization in Charleston, SC.
“My name is Catie Stallworth, and I am from Charleston, SC. I am honored to hold dual degrees from the College of Charleston. In 2015, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; in 2018, I received my Master of Science in Child Life. After my growth and positive experience as an undergraduate student, it was easy to choose to further my education at CofC. The MSCL program was a unique experience with a combination of theoretical coursework, an integrated practicum experience, and the opportunity to create partnerships with various community organizations.”
Child life specialists are healthcare professionals who support children and families facing chronic or episodic health care needs. Child life specialists are highly trained and knowledgeable in development, play, family systems, stress, and coping to promote adaptive coping for patients and families in the healthcare environment. Recently, the child life field has expanded outside the traditional hospital setting and into camps, schools, non-profit organizations, and dentist and primary care offices. While their roles and job responsibilities may change, CLSs adapt their practice to promote positive coping and development for children in any environment. Catie began her Child Life career in the Pediatric Emergency Room at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, SC, and worked there for three and a half years. She has recently transitioned and joined Camp Happy Days, a community organization in Charleston, SC, that provides programming to help children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
“In my new role, I create and implement year-round programs that support children facing pediatric cancer and their families. Although I am no longer in the hospital setting, I utilize the foundational skills gained in the MSCL program and put them into practice beyond the hospital.”
Students in the MSCL program can apply the ideas and theoretical frameworks they learn in the classroom directly to real-world experiences. During their integrated practicum at the Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, students observe the Certified Child Life Specialists in multiple units, including the Emergency Department, Cardiac, Acute Care, and PICU. During these experiences, they can practice executing child life program development outside of the hospital setting. Students in the program also have opportunities to work closely with community partners in Charleston, such as Camp Happy Days, Camp Rise Above, The Lonon Foundation, and Bridges of Hope. Through these experiences, students are fully prepared to apply for formal child life internships in their final semester and go on to take the National Association of Child Life Specialists Certification Examination.
“The MSCL program at CofC fully prepared me to succeed in my career as a Certified Child Life Specialist, no matter the setting!”
For more information on the Master of Science in Child Life Program click here.
For more information on Camp Happy Days click here.
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