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Healthcare Studies Senior Looks Back at Her Journey

Layla Williams '23

Dorchester native Layla Williams will graduate in May with a major in healthcare studies and a minor in psychology

Layla has always been drawn to professions that allow her to help others. After spending much of her time with family members in and out of the hospital, she came to admire the healthcare professionals she saw supporting her loved ones. 

“This is when my passion for healthcare grew tremendously. I wanted to be like the nurses and doctors who had supported my grandmother and our family during tough times. I knew healthcare studies would best fit my interests,” shared Layla. 

Once at Salem State, she immediately dove in and took classes in healthcare writing, public health, and technology in healthcare. She also explored multiple programs to supplement her major, noting that her professors always encouraged her to explore many avenues during her time at SSU.

“I was pushed to think creatively and to develop a new view of the world and the society we live in.”

As a healthcare studies major, Layla stated that a lot of her educational growth came from the extra programs and off-campus opportunities she experienced. Layla volunteered at Bridgewell, enrolled in Salem State’s honors program and interned at Recovery Centers of America as a clinical case manager.

“Having this experience gave me the ability to network and pick up a variety of skills that will last a lifetime.” Layla said about her time at RCA. 

“I've learned from the entire internship that taking risks is more valuable than damaging. I had no idea what to expect from RCA going in, whether I would like it or not. My enthusiasm for the mental health industry has only grown as a result of this internship. I am grateful to have ultimately chosen a behavioral health organization in rehabilitation because it aligns with my minor in psychology.”

After graduation Layla plans to move to New York to pursue a career in public health. While New York is new territory to this Viking, she says that is all part of the plan. 

“Moving to a new environment will force me to be uncomfortable and give me the skills to adapt to various circumstances. I am excited to apply my Salem State knowledge to all aspects of my personal and academic life.” 

Layla advises incoming Vikings to enter college with an open mind, ask questions, take advantage of scholarships and pay attention to emails! 

“You never know, one small experience can be life-changing, take the risk! Think about your future, but do not forget to live in the present moment. Begin with the end in mind, while also being proactive.”

Learn more about healthcare studies at Salem State. 


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