M.S.W. Student Recognized for Victim Advocacy

One day, she’s in court giving a victim statement about a recent assault that took place on Kingshighway Boulevard. The following evening, she’s driving and walking around the Central West End, helping connect people experiencing homelessness with community resources.

Carolyn Compton was recently recognized for her work as an advocate in the Central West End neighborhood.

Carolyn Compton, M.S.W./M.P.A. '17, was recently recognized for her victim advocacy work in the Central West End.

And, she’s doing all of this on top of being a dual-degree graduate student.

Carolyn Compton, a dual Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration student, was recently recognized by the National Organization for Victim Assistance as a 2017 Honored Victim Advocate for her work at the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative.

“Recently, a victim of a street robbery said if it hadn't been for Carolyn and her help, she would have moved out of our neighborhood. Businesses have remarked that this sort of support from Carolyn is not available in any other area. Carolyn is truly trying to improve the quality of life for those living in our community and make it a better place to live, work and visit.”

Compton's nomination for the award

Compton began working in the Central West End serendipitously three years ago when she applied for a job at the Circuit Attorney’s office; her interviewer, after turning her down for the original position, recommended her for the neighborhood advocacy position.

As one of the first people to help victims of crime in the Central West End neighborhood, Compton finds her day-to-day challenging, emotional but also immensely fulfilling.

“We don’t want that to be the story that person walks away with. We want to keep people engaged,” she says. The award, she says, underscores “what I’m doing really means something to others.”

Compton will finish her dual-degree in December 2017. “I’m definitely a different person coming out [of the program] than going in,” she says, adding that she has appreciated the faculty in the School of Social Work who have pushed her to reach higher professionally. “You don’t grow being comfortable, do you?”

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Published: April 25, 2017

About the College for Public Health and Social Justice


The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and wellbeing of people and communities. 

It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.