Abby Sickles '16
Medical Patient Advocacy Non-Profit
“I encourage you to find volunteer opportunities and ways to continue your passions and give back in your local community.”
What has been your career path since graduating from Goucher?
I graduated from Goucher as a Psychology major in 2016. Having always been interested in psychology and public health with a strong passion to help better the lives of others, I chose to pursue my first job at a medical, patient advocacy non-profit. I empower and improve the lives of pulmonary hypertension patients by creating and managing psychosocial, educational, and support resources and programs. A large part of what I do is train patient volunteers to provide peer support to others in the rare disease community.
What were your most influential and valuable experiences at Goucher?
My psychology experiences at Goucher were crucial in allowing me to build the skills to really excel at my job and even train staff and volunteers on mental health issues and skills. A few of my most valuable experiences at Goucher were my research assistant roles and learning experiences I shared with my research team members, involvement in the peer listening program, the Clinical Psychology seminar, leading the Student Health Advisory Committee and my relationship with psychology department staff: Dr. Jennifer McCabe, Dr. Dara Friedman-Wheeler, and Professor Patrick LoPresto.
What advice do you have for current students interested in preparing for a path similar to yours?
I would advise anyone who is interested in taking a similar path to get involved in as many activities as they can that they have interest in. Don’t overwhelm yourself, but make sure somewhere in your college career you take on a leadership opportunity surrounding something you are passionate about. Find a way to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it in a different setting.
Remember, your first job won’t be your last job, and it doesn’t have to be the only thing you focus on after graduation! I volunteer with National Geographic and have found an opportunity for social involvement with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I encourage you to find volunteer opportunities and ways to continue your passions and give back in your local community.