Lizzie Rahm

Giving back

Family social science sophomore Lizzie Rahm blends research and volunteer interests with heart

Though only a sophomore, 20-year-old Lizzie Rahm has not wasted any time seeking out opportunities that incorporate her academic experiences, her family values and passion for youth, and her love for learning and giving back. A full-time student with a solid GPA, the vivacious young woman never seems to stop for a second.

A family social science major, Rahm sought out the University specifically for the program and has never regretted her decision to join the CEHD community.

“I was dead set on the U when it came to finding a college strictly for their FSoS program, and I was ecstatic when I got in,” Rahm says. “I’ve enjoyed all my classes thus far and the professors I’ve learned from.”

With the help of CEHD faculty, she has already participated in undergraduate research and landed a rewarding internship at a local non-profit. She also works as a nanny to three kids during the summer, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, and sustains a full course load.

Rahm’s passion for working with youth is evident in everything she does. As a “wish granter” at Wishes and More, a non-profit that grants wishes to terminally ill youth, she develops itineraries and budgets based on children’s requests.

“It’s really interesting to watch the social workers and see the way that they help out these kids who have life-threatening diseases,” Rahm says. “Just the support they can give a family is huge, and my big thing is giving back.”

Rahm says the work is at times heart-wrenching and difficult, but also the most rewarding work she’s ever done. She has granted 10 wishes to date and says that her work with Wishes and More has led her to consider becoming a social worker and seeking employment at a children’s hospital after finishing school.

With aspirations for higher education past that of a bachelor’s degree, Rahm has been involved with the Family Communication Project, a research study on communication in families that have used artificial reproductive technologies. Working on the project could open doors to graduate school and possibly graduate-level research.

Whether in the research lab, the classroom, or the office, it’s clear that Rahm isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

“I definitely have a preference for hands-on work,” Rahm says. “I’ll be back at it this fall and I’m looking forward to digging deeper.”

Story by Melanie Williams | September 2011