YoTrip-Words and Thoughts

A place and space for me to express my thoughts

YoTrip Presents: Dr. Wachell McKendrick “A Woman People Should Know”


YoTrip Presents: Dr. Wachell McKendrick “A Woman People Should Know”

Dr. Wachell McKendrick

Below is my eighth feature blog post in honor of Women’s History Month.  It is important that we celebrate the beauty and brains of women. Please enjoy learning about these fascinating women and then make sure you support them in their passions, projects, and products

Who are you? Please share something about yourself and your business.

I am Dr. Wachell McKendrick and I am currently a college professor of Social Work at Florida A&M University.  I like to say that my career has been via the “scenic route” as I was a teen mother when I graduated high school as an Honors student at 17 years old, and entered college (Florida State University). After becoming a military spouse (my daughter’s father) at 19 I continued my education and completed my bachelor’s degree with two children at age 21. While in the military I counseled military personnel and their families who had substance abuse issues. My work continued to be in the Social work arena (elderly, substance abuse, domestic violence victims, program development, and clinical supervision) for the next 20 years. At that time I was going through a divorce, left Miami (with my youngest child now, age 9), my hometown, and returned to school to pursue my dream of a PhD. I completed my PhD in 2011 at the school I began in, Florida State University. So, I guess you can say that I had come full circle. My current focus is Family relations and empowering women.

What makes you a “Woman People Should Know”?

Having experienced many of the same issues I was counseling others for, my ability to sympathize and empathize with others and their plight in life add a personal dimension to my work (I consider it my life’s ministry). My determination and passion for reaching goals I have set for myself which also impact the lives of others, literally. My dedication to social justice, the family, and their healthy functioning is why people should know me. I have a passion for social work and not just for social work’s or social work research’s sake, but for social action and change in the lives of people I teach, counsel, and encounter in my community

When did you find out that you had that something special that you wanted to share with the world?

I would guess I realized this at an early age, being an older sister. I have always felt a responsibility to others and their welfare. If I could change it, defend it, then I was at the front doing so. I was called “Hercules” as a young girl, I think it went deep into my psyche (J). I realized that counseling was a mechanism for effecting change while in high school. While remaining in my assigned school while I was pregnant (a choice I made with the encouragement of my father), the school psychologist (a woman and role model)and the sessions we had weekly were impactful and I wanted to provide the same. I was naturally a caretaker and listener, so it made sense to major in psychology.

Where can people find out more about you?

Wachell.mckendrick@famu.edu and on Facebook

How do you make it all happen?

As alluded to earlier, my family’s support from my adolescence, women mentors (Church Secretary, Sunday School teacher, Choir Directress, and others) in my church, in my family ( my aunts on both sides of my family tree who were learned women despite not having degrees), and  in my profession. Ultimately, my belief in God as directing my steps and somewhere in all of it, belief that with Him guiding I could reach goals I set for myself.

 

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