Meet Caitlin Pitkin: At-Risk Youth Program Coordinator

Are you interested in seeing how to relate theory to practice? Or, do you want to challenge the social problems you see unfolding every day in your hometown or community? Then, maybe sociology is the degree for you. Just ask Caitlin Pitkin. Graduating with a degree in sociology, Caitlin found herself looking for a career in which she could apply her knowledge about family issues to real world problems. Luckily, she became a site coordinator for programs focusing on at-risk youth in Wilkes County schools and she finds it not only challenging but rewarding! See below what she has to say about her experiences and applying sociology:

Choosing Sociology as a major was a choice based on passion. I took Sociology 101 my freshman year and it changed my views on the world, the country and our community. I immediately knew this was the path I wanted to take. My concentration was in Family Development which paved the way to the career I am in now.

Currently, I am a Site Coordinator for Communities In Schools of Wilkes. I use an evidence based model created by CIS to coordinate programs and services for at-risk youth. My background in Sociology has helped me immensely in this position. I have a better understanding of the student by knowing how their home life and/or community could predict their future. This skill is extremely important when creating case plans and goals for students, which is the largest part of my job. Furthermore, the skills I learned concerning research methods have prepared me greatly for the reports I am required to complete now. Being able to present and back up statistics on a particular program to potential funders will make or break one’s chances of receiving a grant.

Sociology students who are interested in working with at-risk youth should be in the concentration of Families and Intimate Relationships, Social Inequalities or Applied Research Methods. All of these will be beneficial in securing a career in child welfare. One must have a passion for helping others and making systemic change in order to succeed in this field. I can attest that taking this path is well worth it. 

If Caitlin's experience sparks some interest for you, then please contact Dr. Cameron Lippard about how you can become a sociology major ( 

Caitlin Pitkin
Published: Jan 29, 2016 3:55pm