College life was not a passive experience for Burgess. Her influential roles on campus included peer mentor, resident assistant, Anointed Voices of Praise Gospel Choir singer, and member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa — applying her leadership minor on a daily basis. The Social Work major showcased her personality and compassion as president of the Social Work Club, where she said organizing outreach for residents of a local homeless shelter was a lesson in the humbling nature of leadership.
Burgess’ academic record earned her the highest honor in the social work department, and her service to the broader campus community garnered the college’s Charlotte Forten Grimké award. Her scholarly projects and internship experience built her resumé while she was still a student, enabling her to land a job in her field before wearing her graduation cap and gown in 2014.
“I have learned from working with others the true meaning of self and how to give help as well as receive it,” said Burgess, who was promoted to mental health counselor and floor supervisor after just six months on the job at Foundations Medical Adult Day Service and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program in Baltimore. “Every challenge is a new opportunity.”