Samantha Grant, a first year Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at Adler University, is a student leader dedicated to advocating for issues related to identity intersectionality - notably with gender, sexual orientation, and ethnic identities. Prior to coming to Adler, Samantha was a peer education programmer and crisis hotline worker, working with issues of health, mental health, sex work, and human trafficking. Samantha has also counseled seniors regarding graduate endeavors at a public charter high school.
Samantha entered Adler University in our Diversity Leadership Program. This program was developed to provide opportunities for mentoring, support, and leadership skills development for doctoral students from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in psychology. She participates in regularly scheduled activities with faculty and peers throughout the academic year.
Samantha received Adler University's Presidential Scholarship and is a Point Foundation Scholar. The Point Foundation provides financial assistance to gender and sexual minority students who are paired with a mentor and participate in leadership development programs and events.
As a student in Adler's Psy.D. program, which emphasizes socially responsible practice, Samantha will educate other health professionals and advocate for the needs of patients from a social justice framework.
Samantha is completing her Social Justice Practicum with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. She is utilizing social justice skills of community organizing, political advocacy, and enacting policy change.
Samantha's characteristics are rooted in her commitment to social justice and an awareness of the broader systems that effect individual and community well-being. She brings these skills into her work with student groups on campus, including the Adler Black Student Association and Adler Pride.
Social justice work and advocacy has always been a crucial part of my identity as a black, queer woman living in America. It is hard for me to escape the blatant injustices that surround and affect me as a person who occupies space in many marginal categories. My personal experiences constantly inspire me to work for social change in order to create the world that I dream about. Currently, my time is dedicated to academics in order to obtain my doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Adler University. Attending a school that centers social justice and community engagement has allowed me learn how to advocate for others, question policies and how they affect marginalized groups, while also working to improve the mental health of so many individuals.
With my doctoral degree, I will pursue work that emphasizes community psychology and the ways that communities navigate structural and interpersonal oppression while displaying resilience. I am interested in promoting mental health care in neighborhoods that are structurally disadvantaged, engaging with community members and helping develop preventative tools for Black women and children navigating through interpersonal traumas. I am currently a member of the Adler Black Student Association, as well as an executive board member of Adler Pride (Adler's LGBTQ organization). These two crucial intersections of my identity inspire me to focus my time and energy on populations that are not only historically disenfranchised, but groups that directly affect me and my future work. I believe in the power of community and resilience and feel honored to be able to gain the skills to effectively do this now and in the future.