Success through Support

A picture of a Elyse Tavary

When she arrived at Dordt, Elyse was shy but excited to learn. During the next four years, Elyse built relationships and realized how little she knew about life. One of the things that Elyse appreciated about Dordt is how focused it is on loving your neighbor fully.

Classes both in and out of the social work department concentrated on, “Not seeing people for their problems but seeing them as whole and their problems as an extension of a broken world. To learn from and to love our marginalized neighbor instead of thinking we have a duty to save them.”

Although Elyse became involved in Dordt’s community and became a more effective professional and person, her journey at college was not always easy. She dealt with mental health issues during her time at Dordt. It was thanks to Dordt’s community that Elyse was still able to graduate in four years with a double major, a minor, and two semesters abroad.

“A lot of that is due to the personal relationships I made with faculty and their ability to work with me and help me along the way,” she says. “I couldn’t have made it happen without the support of the Dordt community.”

After graduating, Elyse moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where she works at a psychiatric hospital for girls aged 12 to 17. She plans on returning to graduate school to earn her Master of Social Work to become a therapist. Elyse is thankful for her experiences at Dordt and the lessons that still impact her life today -- she even lives with three friends from Dordt.

When looking back on how Dordt has impacted her, Elyse says, “My experiences at Dordt gave me the confidence, experience, and knowledge to be better prepared for my job now, and created a system of support that I know I can reach out to whenever.”