Jeff Trant '08 is a fourth-generation social worker on his mother's side, but he knew it would take more than good genes to make him a good practitioner. That's why he chose the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and that's why he leapt at the opportunity to work with Maurice "Moe" Boisvert for his final-year field placement.
Boisvert, who teaches an introductory macro social work course at the GSSW, is also the president and chief executive officer of Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc. (YOU, Inc.), a leading child welfare and behavioral health organization in Worcester.
"Moe is recognized nationally as a social work manager, really living the mission of the organization," says Trant. "I just look up to him as a person and a professional and try to take the values he taught me and put them into practice."
Boisvert, for his part, says that Trant's skill-focused BCGSSW coursework helped him hit the ground running.
"Jeff was, first of all, an excellent self starter, an exceptional team player, and an endearing personality," says Boisvert. "He had a lot of assets, and the work products he produced during the year were pretty significant."
From day one, Trant immersed himself in the workings of macro practice in a comprehensive agency with 38 different programs serving 8,000 children, adolescents and families. When Boisvert asked him to attend all senior management team meetings, he was thrilled.
"What better place to learn about an organization and about nonprofit management?" says Trant, who was pleased to find that everything he learned in the classroom at the GSSW was "completely transferable" at YOU, Inc.
During his eight-month stint at YOU, Inc., Trant was involved in the agency's strategic planning initiative, co-edited the organization's quarterly newsletter, and co-chaired a long-standing annual fundraiser." But looking back, what he valued most about his experience was the fact that Moe and the staff treated him as a peer.
"We do have very high expectations for all our grad students," Boisvert says. "But the thing that we found is that people rise to those expectations."
And Trant was no exception. Thanks to Boisvert's ties to the United Way of Central Massachusetts, Trant worked on the organization's 2008 fundraising campaign as a loaned executive.
Today, thanks to his GSSW foundation and Moe's mentorship, Trant is program director at the private nonprofit Lighthouse, a member of the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition, which offers vocational education, therapy, and rehabilitation to people with chronic behavioral issues.