Devon France, 30, dreams of starting her own non-profit organization providing services to people living with mental illness and addiction. She will be one get closer on Dec. 15, when she receives her masters from the School of Social Work.
A first-generation student, the Port Huron resident graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Wayne State in 2018. France said one of the main drivers of her academic success was support from family, friends and Wayne State staff.
“Throughout my years of graduating from graduate school, I struggled to recover from my mental health and recover from addiction. I have been sober since October 27, 2011, when I decided I wanted to be one of the professionals who help others overcome addiction and mental health issues. Throughout my college career, and particularly during this pandemic, I have struggled with my own mental health symptoms of bipolar disorder.
France said it had received support from Wayne State counselors, the disabled student services team and its faculty. “I don’t know how I could have come to this without the great help they gave me along the way, especially with the pandemic.”
After graduation, France will continue to work full time as a support specialist with St. Clair County Mental Health and hopes to eventually pursue a PhD. She said she was especially excited to spend more time with her two children and her boyfriend, Jason.
“My family has supported and encouraged me a lot as I have maintained demanding work and school schedules. For graduation, I can’t wait to eat at home with my family.