Meet Alexis Bruce, Clinical Social Work Supervisor at Kennedy Krieger.
Alexis has been a longtime employee of Kennedy Krieger, making a difference in the lives of the patients and families we serve for more than 25 years. Shortly after earning her bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, Alexis began working at the Institute as a clinical assistant in the Neurobehavioral Unit (NBU). Alexis continued to work in the NBU while working towards her master’s degree in social work (MSW) at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Alexis then transitioned from clinical assistant to social worker, where she worked closely with patients and their families.
Alexis says her various roles at the Institute have allowed her to see firsthand what the families of children with developmental disabilities and severe behavioral problems deal with on a regular basis. “They’re often left feeling shunned, or as if they live in a silo,” she says. Alexis strives to change this by connecting with these families and making them feel understood and less alone. “It’s been such a rewarding experience to hear families share a sense of hope,” she says.
In addition to connecting with patients and families, Alexis also makes a difference in the lives of those she works with. In her current role, Alexis works closely with MSW trainees, developing the next generation of social workers, which she cites as her proudest accomplishment. When asked how she inspires these trainees, Alexis says she always encourages her team to reach their goals while challenging them to be the best they can be.
Alexis takes a lot of her training inspiration from Mary Snyder-Vogel, former Director of Social Work at Kennedy Krieger, who passed away in 2015. “She saw things in her employees that they sometimes did not see within themselves,” she says. “She encouraged them to take risks to unlock their greatest potential.”
Alexis says Mary’s work ethic and motivation to help others has inspired her to follow in her footsteps. “I have continued to work hard in carrying out her legacy, dreams, and expectations,” she says. “I hope I continue to make her proud.”
We don’t think there’s any question that Alexis is making Mary proud. In recognition of her many contributions to the Institute, she was recently promoted to a new role. In April, Alexis will become the first African-American social work inpatient manager at Kennedy Krieger.
This Black History Month, we recognize Alexis and thank her for her dedication to the Institute. Thank you for all that you do, Alexis!