“I chose Franklin because I knew I would not be a number. I knew I would grow best as a person and as a student when someone knew my name. Given the chance, I would choose Franklin again because I got individual attention and professors approached me when I needed help.”
— Amber Hoff, 2003 Franklin College alumna
Amber Hoff alleges her job as an addictions counselor is as rewarding as it is challenging. To Hoff, “nothing compares to seeing individuals united with their families and living happy, healthy lives.” The Franklin College graduate and therapist at Tara Treatment Center celebrates patient journeys each September when the Center hosts an alumni reunion. “During treatment, individuals are often at their worst. At the reunion, we celebrate the hope that we are able to provide by helping them get through that time. I am so thankful that I can do this kind of work.”
Hoff began her psychology degree at Franklin College expecting to end up in school counseling. “I thought I’d get my master’s and become a therapist but didn’t know what options were available to me. Working in addictions was just not on my radar.”
Like they do for many Franklin students, Hoff’s internship opened her mind and gave her different perspectives. “I did an internship at Tara and learned about addiction treatment. Even though my internship only lasted a month, I connected to the field and to the mission of the Center.”
“I would advise Franklin students to fully take advantage of internships and engaged learning during their college years. Do something outside of what you expect yourself to do – expose yourself to new things to see what excites you. Be in as many extracurricular activities as possible.”
Hoff’s role as Tara’s primary women’s program counselor involves assisting up to 16 women at any given time for drug and alcohol addiction. The rehab center offers different levels of care to both men and women – from detox and residential care to outpatient programming. Individuals arrive at Tara from different paths – some making a personal decision to get care and others receiving treatment as a result of legal decisions or family interventions.
Hoff credits her college sorority with helping her be more comfortable with individuals and groups. “I started at Franklin with some social anxiety and ended up being the secretary of my sorority. Looking back, I see how this experience helped get me out of my comfort zone and develop relationships I did not think were possible for me.”
Hoff also worked for The Franklin, the college newspaper. “It is good to have all kinds of experiences. Participating in theatre at Franklin also developed my confidence. I loved working back stage and seeing a play develop over time, from start to end.”
In addition to her psychology major, Hoff minored in history and sociology. “Franklin let me explore many areas and have input from different faculty. I recommend students get to know faculty because professors will be important in helping direct your career from the beginning – from providing knowledge to help you make choices to writing recommendations to land the job you want or get into graduate school.”
Hoff claims professor of sociology Denise Baird, Ph.D., opened her eyes to different social issues including welfare and, specifically, women on welfare. “The class material and in-class discussions helped me think outside the box when I started my master’s degree in social work (MSW) after working for Tara.”
“In my research methods class at Franklin, the late Roger Thomas, Ph.D., taught us how to document our learning, forging ideas and opinions that were separate from what we learned. I am thankful he pushed us harder than we then wanted because it strengthened me for graduate school. I learned to work harder since more was expected of us.”
Hoff obtained her master’s degree in social work after working for Tara as an outpatient coordinator and spending some time raising her child. “Because of my Franklin internship, I was drawn to Tara and subsequently doors opened there. Colleagues encouraged me to continue my education and were supportive when I was working full time and raising a family.”
Hoff is thankful for her minor in history, a strong personal interest that has fueled her lifelong learning. Although many may think the minor was not directly applicable to her job as a therapist, Hoff remembers a time in class when students read a book and the professor had them select a character from the story, to learn more fully by having them discuss and debate in character. “We learned what the person was passionate about and whether we agreed or not with their beliefs. It enabled me to know the material in addition to understanding more about how to see from someone else’s eyes.”
For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.