Cayce Pack, BS ’12, MSW ’13, has long felt attracted to social work on a global scale. Now she’s doing just that, at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) in Nablus, a West Bank city that has the Palestinian Territory’s largest refugee population.
An American non-profit, TYO focuses on
the financial, educational, and social needs of local women and children. In Pack’s position as Women’s Empowerment Coordinator, she oversees and administers all programming for female participants, many of whom live in refugee camps. Pack felt especially drawn to work with these women because few are able to break into the labor force despite their relatively high level of education. Pack hopes to support her clients in actualizing their goals and acquiring the tools necessary for success.
Group work is one of the most clinically engaging parts of Pack’s job. There, women have a chance to explore thoughts and feelings — about domestic violence, for example — that they can’t express elsewhere. The women, sometimes for the first time, are able to reflect on how they have been affected by various life stressors.
Pack became aware of global issues early in life. Her hometown, Nashville, TN, has one of the largest refugee populations in the United States; and her family traveled to countries with political, religious, and economic unrest. However, Pack believes it was her experience at NYU Silver School of Social Work, as well as the connections she made through professors and classmates, that helped her define her passion so vividly and find the opportunities to achieve happiness in her professional life.
Some of her most notable volunteer experiences at Silver were with the United Nations and Bellevue Hospital’s Program for Survivors of Torture, in addition to a summer in Cairo, Egypt, through the NYU Wasserman Center’s Funded Internship Award. As a senior in the BS program, Pack’s field placement was at International Rescue Committee, an organization that assists individuals who have experienced human rights violations or were forced to flee their home countries to rebuild their lives. And as an advanced standing MSW student, she interned with UNICEF NY, which allowed her to work on macro issues affecting international populations. It was through UNICEF that she learned about many American non-profits in other countries, including TYO.
For other students interested in pursuing global social work, Pack has this advice: “Take advantage of all the opportunities New York City has to offer. There are many international organizations and groups in the city; one only has to reach out to make the connections.”
By Jessica Champagne, MSW ’14