Stacie Brimmage ‘24 is a lifelong Worcester resident dedicated to making her community a better place through the skills she is learning in Anna Maria’s MSW program.  

Currently, Stacie serves as YouthGROW Coordinator at Regional Environmental Council where she takes her love of agriculture and teaches young people the health and therapeutic aspects of growing food through urban farming and a mobile farmstand, while also fighting against food insecurity.  

Stacie was focused on continuing her education and researched a variety of colleges offering MSW programs, but she was struck by the personalized nature and experience that Anna Maria College’s MSW faculty had to offer.  

“What really stood out about Anna Maria was the leadership of the MSW Director Lenore Rust and the Field Education Director Alisa Testa. They were very responsive, but most importantly they were experienced in the field,” Stacie said, “They know the landscape in Central Massachusetts regarding social work and they’re very skilled. After engaging with other colleges who were not super responsive, I was impressed with Anna Maria’s admissions process and the fact that the MSW program answered all my questions and connected me with other MSW students.” 

Stacie’s career has always been geared towards working and supporting young people and teenagers. Throughout the past 15 years she has worked with organizations and nonprofits supporting this population, so it was a natural fit when she realized her dream was to be a social worker in a school. Through her MSW field placements, she took the counseling techniques she learned in class out into the real world. 

Last year, she completed a field placement at Samoset Middle School in Leominster where she supported staff and helped students. Stacie described the school as “welcoming” and the smaller class settings gave her more direct access to the principal and resources. Now she is excited to be completing her second internship at School High in Worcester which is a full circle moment for her since she graduated there herself! 

“I feel like I have received more on the ground experience at the high school. During my time at the Leominster middle school, I provided academic support to students, supporting them with developing their skills and being successful in school. This current internship in Worcester is very different since we have over 1,900 students and counseling wise the students are higher need.” Having the opportunity to explore two very different school systems means that Stacie can explore her interests and determine what future career path is right for her. 

Stacie is hopeful of obtaining a job as a social worker in the Worcester Public School System.  

“My current internship helped me realize that I want to work in Worcester. It’s so dynamic, and the day just flies by. For example, today I didn’t open my computer once because I was working with students all day. We are just constantly moving, bouncing from student to student, providing support.” 

As she gets ready to graduate, Stacie is really thankful for the “core group” of other MSW students who have been with her throughout the two-year program. From paint and sip nights to destress after exams to the opportunity to share and learn from her fellow classmates, Stacie has really enjoyed the supportive MSW community that exists at Anna Maria College.  

“I love being a social worker because I can connect with people and be there in their most vulnerable moments as they seek growth. I’m a big believer in the idea that we all have the tools that we need to solve any problems that we face. Barriers exist, but identifying those barriers is a big part of social work, which is why many of us go into one-to-one therapy,” Stacie said, “I went into the MSW program because I want to do clinical social work. But macro-social work really struck a chord with me because as much as I love to support people in problem solving, there’s bigger issues that we have to problem solve. That is what I love about social workers is the one-to-one connection and relationship building but then also the opportunity to then address these larger barriers that exist in society.”