IUPUI student Claire Kilbarger-Stumpff grew up learning about the importance of social justice and service to her community. She carried those values with her into college, choosing to pursue a degree in social work.
Kilbarger-Stumpff quickly found her place in the IU School of Social Work. During her first year, she took a social welfare policy class that transformed her view of social justice. As she developed an interest in politics, she began to promote policies that supported minority groups.
“I can advocate as much as I want, but if the policy doesn’t match or support my goals, my efforts are futile,” she said.
Kilbarger-Stumpff put her passion into action by joining the service club Circle K International and getting involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. She also co-hosted a panel discussion on racism in her hometown and participated in protests with the Columbus, Indiana chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
Kilbarger-Stumpff will pursue a master of social work through the accelerated program at IUPUI after completing her bachelor’s degree. She plans to continue advocating for social reform policies and learning how to meet minority groups’ needs.
“Stick to a growth mindset,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “The minute you become complacent with the knowledge you currently have is the moment you become a less effective advocate.”