Lisa McCarron, a native of Lowell who currently resides in Westford, served as the graduate commencement speaker for Salem State’s class of 2020 in a virtual ceremony, a celebration that was delayed a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. McCarron’s speech is based on her experience returning to school as a graduate student at age 50, following life events that caused her to refocus her purpose and goals.
After spending 30 years as a successful marketing professional, McCarron received her Master of Social Work from Salem State. She now serves the Greater Lowell area as a family intervention specialist for Youth Villages, a leading national nonprofit that helps to strengthen children’s family and support systems and dramatically improve their long-term success.
“I just feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be,” said McCarron, who this May just reached her one-year anniversary with Youth Villages. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, McCarron entered the homes of children and young people in need of intervention and guidance (with PPE and following social distancing guidelines), while also providing telehealth services.
In her speech, which aired on May 15, 2021 and is available here, McCarron reflects on the loss and change that led her to find her purpose, noting that she chose to share her story “because it is never too late to discover your passion.”
In her address, McCarron continued, “Open your mind to new ideas, open yourself constantly to reflection. Chase solutions when you see a problem. Question the ‘why’ behind. And as the late Congressman John Lewis encouraged us: Make ‘good trouble.’”
At Salem State, McCarron became trained in clinical therapy, addiction treatment and trauma intervention with a focus on individual and family health and mental health needs. She gained experience in forensic social work by completing an internship with the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic.
“I worked with an outstanding group of professionals and gained invaluable experience for the work I’m doing today,” said McCarron of her internship experience.
Now a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW), McCarron is working toward becoming a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and looks forward to continuing to have an impact working with children and families.
“It feels wonderful to be motivated every morning,” said McCarron. “I’m making a difference and planting seeds for families to develop the skills they need to solve problems for years to come.”