After years of following her heart to other careers, Lisa Glenn found her fit in social work.
“I believe that God gave me a special gift where I can connect with people – some people that other people can’t reach or can’t see or don’t want to help,” states Glenn, a Social Work alumna and professor at Limestone College. “I think God gives me a discerning spirit that enables me to connect with them and tell exactly what is going on with certain people even when they may not know themselves.”
For the past 13 years, Glenn has worked as a case manager and social worker at Mary Black Health System’s rehab hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In addition to her extensive background in health and wellness, she has also been a preceptor of Social Work at Limestone.
Through teaching, she shares her passion for social work with her students.
“We do make a difference and if that’s important to them then they are in the right place because it’s not about the money,” Glenn says.
Helping people has been a passion for Glenn and her previous positions prove it. She was a funeral director and nursing assistant before choosing a career in social work, which offers her the one-on-one counseling opportunity she had been seeking.
“I really love people and I just have a thing for problem solving and helping people in distress,” Glenn says.
Importantly, being a family-oriented mother helped Glenn set the compass for her career. She was in her mid-40s when she started her Bachelor of Social Work degree program at Limestone. She is the mother of two adult children, a son and daughter, and was in college at the same time as her daughter Ashley.
“I learned later on what an inspiration I was to them because they saw me struggling but I never gave up,” Glenn shares. “I was determined that I was going to finish my degree, especially after I started in the social work program because I was so happy to find such a fit for me.”
In her job as a social worker, Glenn lets her nurturing side show. She especially connects with women who are hurting and discouraged, and tries to guide them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses so they can consider different perspectives of a problem.
“I am just so happy to be doing what God created me to do. It’s not being boastful, it’s being thankful,” she says. “I don’t consider what I do as work.”
A part of Glenn’s ease with people and sense of responsibility comes from being the firstborn of seven children in her family.
“In a big family everyone has different personalities, so being the firstborn I had to problem solve a lot. I learned to be so responsible because my parents worked a lot. So I’ve been playing the part of caregiver for a long time,” she explains. “I am a big sister at heart.”
Sometimes the journey to finding your fit can include some obstacles. Being a mom who went back to school was tough at times for Glenn, but she encourages others to face the challenges if it means pursuing the education and career they are passionate about.
“It’s not going to be easy and there will be days you may want to give up because you are so tired but you have to keep working. My motto is anything worth having is worth working for,” Glenn says.