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School of Social Work Student Snapshots Jordyn Aydelotte

Social work isn’t what you might think, and the students pursuing social work degrees through Boise State’s School of Social Work are as different as their passions and goals for their lives and futures. That’s a very good thing – the challenges they face in their internships, graduate assistantships and coursework show just how needed their perspectives and skills are.

Here’s a sneak peek at the “social workers” of the future (spoiler alert: The term hardly captures the range of what they’re interested in – and what they might accomplish.)

Jordyn Aydelotte
Second-year master’s student

Jordyn-Aydelotte Headshot

Jordyn Aydelotte, who is originally from Oregon, earned her bachelor of science degree in marriage and family studies at Brigham Young University in Idaho. She had been interested in mental health, particularly psychiatry, since high school; that said, the logistics and the time commitment to become a psychiatrist seemed daunting, so she started in English as an undergrad and took electives in marriage and human development before switching her emphasis.

Aydelotte marshals her past experiences and interests for her academic success, and has figured out how a master’s in social work can be applied across a wide range of potential careers.

“I’ve always found success when I can connect what I learn to what I know about,” she said. “I’ve learned it’s a matter of focusing but also learning with the credentialing process what you’re capable of doing with different credentials.”

She has spent a considerable among of time, particularly early in her Boise State journey, thinking about her “why,” and what motivates her to want to practice social work. She feels strongly about using her understanding to improve human conditions, and cites Quest Nutrition co-founder Tom Bilyeu and his Impact Theory series as meaningful sources for helping her to determine her why, which has to do with helping specific people in her life.

“It’s the pilot light that’s always on,” she said. “I will always be able to use that knowledge to improve the relationships in my life.

“If you’re in it to save the world, you’re not going to see a lot of that.”

She has been particularly driven by her studies in social justice and human sexuality. She is contemplating pursuit of a PhD in the future; her current internship focused on mental health counseling keeps her active in the clinical space, but she knows that her interest in human sexuality ultimately could take her in the direction of a doctoral program online with the California Institute of Integral Studies.

“In order to be a successful student who is passionate, your “Why” needs to be solid, because it’s a hard career. It’s hard work,” Aydelotte said. “Because I understood my “Why,” I knew what I wanted to get out of this program, and why I was there.

“It’s what keeps me going.”

The doctoral quest is long term. Right now, she sees limitless possibilities in Idaho – hospitals, school systems, clinics, all have needs that those with advanced social work degrees can fill.

“I am interested in being in this area professionally,” Aydelotte said. “I feel very confident about being able to secure a job. You just have so much flexibility in what you can do and there’s a lot of opportunity in the Treasure Valley.

“It’s comforting to know I have the flexibility.”

Having wanted to be a counselor but unsure of an advanced education, Aydelotte has come a long way.

“At one point, I thought I couldn’t do my master’s degree, and here I am.”