A Career Filled With Hope

Sara Andrew wanted to help fellow veterans reintegrate after returning home. Her attitude, determination, and generous funding from donors let her achieve that goal.

Sara Andrew enlisted in the Army after high school, and was stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, where she began studying social work and earning undergraduate degrees in the field. Back in Buffalo, UB attracted her with its Joining Forces-UB, a program that trains students to address veterans’ needs. Andrew wants to “serve those who serve us,” by helping veterans suffering depression or PTSD. “While in the military, I saw the impact of service on soldiers and their families,” says Andrew, who hopes to work advocating for reintegration services for returning members of the military and their families.

Andrew grew up working on her grandparents’ farm in Middleport, NY, a small village on the Erie Canal.

She was honored to receive a scholarship that helped lower her tuition cost, “reduced my stress and demonstrated how I can give back in the future when I am financially stable,” she says.

The award was especially meaningful, she adds, given that it was intended for a student who exemplified particular traits: “service-mindedness, compassion, determination and a sense of humor.”

Andrew strengthened those qualities in the jobs she worked while going to school. At Central Texas College, she interned as an advocate for rape and domestic violence victims at a local shelter. And when she returned to New York, she worked fulltime as a counselor for troubled youth while earning a bachelor’s of social work degree. Andrew currently works in a medical center emergency department as a care coordinator, primarily for psychiatric patients. And she interns at the VA Hospital as a behavioral health care manager. No surprise that she plans to continue along the same path post-graduation.

“My ideal job would be working in the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Defense,” she says.

Wherever she lands, Andrew pledges to help those suffering from trauma and mental health issues “with a kind heart, determined will and a smile on my face.”