My Trinity Students Discover Their Strength



Yesterday was bittersweet. It was the last day of the semester for my Trinity Washington University students and me, but my heart is full! (Remember my declaration that I only want to do work that gives me the “my heart is full” feeling!) This is the 125th anniversary of Trinity educating women. I graduated in the 100th year so I’m also a proud alumna.

I absolutely love teaching at Trinity Washington University. I love my students. They are some of the most resilient, strong, and determined women I have met. (I wish that didn’t have to be their story!) 

I generally only teach in the fall and at the start of every semester, I tell myself that it will be my last semester. I think when I say it I believe it and think I mean it.  Sometimes it has been a heavy semester, but it is truly because it’s an hour’s drive from my home. I need a break in December but by March I miss my students and I start thinking of all the great conversations I want to have with them. Yesterday it didn’t take me until March to miss the collective of Trinity students and doubt that it would be my last semester.

Before my students delivered their final presentations, I asked each of them to share one thing they learned or will take away from the class. The course materials covered sociology and psychology, but here’s what I’m most proud of:

  • This is a safe space for me to ask questions
  • I’ve learned the importance of setting goals and not letting anyone keep me from reaching my goals
  • I learned more about my major and what careers I can get after I graduate
  • I learned that self-care is important and I have to put my needs first
  • I learned self-advocacy and to stand up for myself and ask for what I need
  • I learned to be confident
  • I learned how to perform well in job interviews

I already told y’all my heart is FULL but there was more icing on the Trinity cake!

I learned that one of my students was in the program with my former employer in middle school (my best and worst job ever LOL) and a Trinity graduate who was my intern nearly 8 years ago reached out to me on social media for social work career coaching. So proud that she has now earned her master’s degree in social work.

Education goes beyond what’s in the textbook and part of my role is to help my students “discover their strength’. 

I also help Women of Color in social work leadership “discover their strength”. Let’s set up a time to chat about how I can help you elevate your social work leadership career.


Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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