A Compassionate Passion
Audrey Stone takes her advocacy to the courtroom
by Anidhya Jamwal (’17)
Life often presents us with several little tokens of intellectual fascination, which eventually unearth where our passion truly lies. For Westminster graduate Audrey Stone (’15), this scavenger hunt for passion began as an undeclared first-year student.
“I definitely didn’t come to Westminster knowing what I wanted to major in,” Audrey recalls. “It was in my first semester that I took sociology and loved it. I knew that this would be it. Then I took psychology and found out that I loved learning about it as well. I continued taking psychology and sociology courses to find the right path for me.”
Audrey’s path led her to working as a life-skills coordinator and youth mentor at the Summit Counseling Center, which evolved into a position with Halo Services as the nonprofit organization’s director. Audrey attributes her current work in the rehabilitation of families affected by mental health disorders to Abnormal Psychology, a class she took from Professor Ellen Behrens.
“Her way of teaching was incredible,” Audrey says. “We learned about various mental disorders and the stigmas in society relating to these disorders—and did in-depth research and presentations so we would be able to really understand them.”
Audrey carried this insight with her as she began working with families through Summit Counseling Center. Her intimate level of involvement with these families provided her with several opportunities to try and understand the challenges they faced.
“I saw kids being taken away from their families to foster care and then being brought back from foster care to their homes. I was the one constant person in the families’ lives when this was happening,” she says.
Her role also required her to be present at court hearings, which eventually inspired a new passion along her path: to attend University of Oregon School of Law with a specialization in child advocacy.
“The court hearings kept coming back to me, and I was reminded of the power that attorneys have on people’s lives, to make them better or worse. I am passionate about making their lives better,” Audrey says.
Audrey believes that the lack of information surrounding mental health disorders can be addressed if people become more engaged in their communities and dedicate themselves to a cause.
“Education on the subject is important, but so is volunteering, because it is only by interacting with people that you get first-hand experience of what they really go through. Even if it’s not mental health, just volunteer and get involved in something you are really passionate about.”
What is your spirit animal? “The elephant, because it symbolizes good luck and is also a gentle giant.”
If you could be invisible for one whole day, what would you do? “Dance, because I can’t dance, but I would try it if no one could see me!”
Last movie/show that made you cry? “Criminal Minds, when Spencer Reid’s girlfriend (who he’s never met) dies.”
What fictional story/TV show would you want to live in? “The apartment in New Girl.”
Proudest moment? “Getting accepted to law school.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.