AmeriCorps Member of The Month – Kirra Crump

August 2021

Each month we recognize an AmeriCorps member serving in Utah for going above and beyond the pledge they took to “Get Things Done.” This month we are proud to recognize Kirra Crump who is serving with the BYU Family Home & Social Sciences AmeriCorps Program at Wasatch Mental Health.

The BYU FHSS AmeriCorps Program engages members from the BYU FHSS student body to increase the capacity of non-profit mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities. Under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, AmeriCorps members serve in several service locations along the Wasatch Front, providing direct clinical services to clients seeking treatment.

We thank the BYU FHSS program for providing this nomination describing how Kirra has gone above and beyond as an AmeriCorps member:

“Kirra came to our office while we were in the midst of a lot of changes (2 therapists left, a management change, COVID…) Right from the start, Kirra hit the ground running. We had a lot of clients that got displaced because of changes in personnel. Kirra worked hard to try to contact these clients and put as many as she could on her caseload to help them have consistency in their care. She is willing to try to see anyone, no matter the diagnosis, life circumstance, or their history. She has really helped us to fill in the gaps in services, to give better continuity of care to our clients.

Kirra has embraced this experience from the very first day she started with her agency. She has been prepared and willing to jump in and do whatever is asked. In addition to her therapeutic skills, Kirra has embraced forms and paperwork! She has developed a system for tracking and turning in her service hour records and other forms in a timely manner. She has shared this with other members in our program.

Kirra is very caring toward clients she works with, and is kind and cheerful toward other clinicians. She spends time studying and researching modalities, to improve her clinical skills. And find things to specifically help each client. She is hardworking, and always has a positive attitude. I don’t think I have ever seen her not smiling.

One incident that really stands out happened a few weeks ago. Kirra was asked to work with a teenage client, with significant developmental delays, and significant trauma. The client became very upset in the lobby, broke things, and caused a disturbance at the front desk. Because of their behavior, the client and their parent were asked to wait outside. All of this was before Kirra was even able to get to the lobby. When Kirra arrived on the scene, she remained calm and really advocated that the client still be able to access services. She went outside, and met with the client where they were most comfortable, helping the client to go to a more regulated state of mind. Kirra was able to get the information needed to open a chart up, so the client could receive services here. And has continued to work with that parent, to help them find even more resources in the community.”

Q&A with Kirra:

Why did you choose to serve as an AmeriCorps member with BYU FHSS’ program?

I chose to serve with BYU FHSS AmeriCorps after hearing from members of the School of Social Work cohort one year above me! They spoke about what a tremendous help it was to them and how much they enjoyed the experience. I felt that the process to join was made simple by the BYU School of Social Work, which really helped me get started. 

What is a typical day like for you in your role?

My internship primarily focused on individual mental health therapy. I would meet with anywhere from 1-7 clients a day for an hour each and would use evidence-based interventions with them. When I wasn’t meeting with clients, I was researching modalities to help my clientele, completing trainings, attending staff meeting, or meeting with my supervisor to go over my caseload. Occasionally I was able to sit in on some group therapy as well as shadow experienced therapists using a modality I really wanted to learn.

What have you liked most about serving within BYU FHSS’ AmeriCorps program?

One thing I’ve enjoyed about serving as an AmeriCorps member is the opportunity to reflect each month on the growth I’ve experienced and the challenges I’ve worked through. I’ve been fortunate enough to have really great people around me helping me to learn and teaching me every step of the way, and each month as I complete the AmeriCorps paperwork I am reminded of this. In the helping field, sometimes it can be hard to feel that anything you are doing is even making a difference or worth the effort. I really enjoyed looking back on the month and seeing the successes my clients have had. 

We extend our congratulations to Kirra for being recognized as the UServeUtah AmeriCorps Member of the Month and thank her for her dedicated service to communities in Utah.

What is AmeriCorps?AmeriCorps is your moment to take the path less traveled, to break the status quo, to stop talking about the problem and be the solution. Join AmeriCorps and you can mentor and tutor kids, rebuild a community after disaster, help veterans, or work with local communities to alleviate poverty. There are thousands of opportunities to choose from, find the one that fits you.