May 10, 2019

CWTAP Student Spotlight: Laurel Tull

By Kara Rozeboom

Laurel Tull is a CWTAP student in the Everett hybrid program. In June, she finished her first year in the 3-year part-time program.

Laurel was adopted at birth through WACAP, an International non-profit adoption agency. Being adopted herself, she said it is powerful to see all the adoption work that goes on behind the DCYF closed doors. At age 9, Laurel heard work stories from her auntie who is a CDMHP that sparked her love for helping people. Laurel said that even on her auntie’s worst day, she was making a difference. Laurel has been chasing the dream of working with children and families ever since.

Laurel received her Bachelor in Human Services from Western Washington University in 2010. As part of her program she did an internship as a Mental Health case manager at Compass Health in Marysville, WA. She also was working as a discharge planner at a psychiatric inpatient hospital until it closed in 2010. Laurel took a detour into nursing to help support her family but has always wanted to work in direct service with children and families to feed her soul. Laurel received her Licensed Practical Nurse degree from Bellingham Technical College in December 2012. In 2015 Laurel and her husband began fostering their now son. He was adopted by Laurel and her husband in 2017. Being an adoptee and a foster/adoptive parent helped Laurel to realize that being a social worker of color in a system made predominantly of foster children of color was important. This has inspired Laurel to want to be a racial mirror. Laurel wants children to see her, someone who looks like them with a similar background as many of them, and teach these children a different and positive path. From January 2013 through July 2018 Laurel had been working as a psychiatric nurse at Island Hospital in Anacortes. Currently she is working for a staffing agency as a per diem psychiatric nurse in various outpatient clinics.

Laurel is shocked how much she loves her practicum at the Mt. Vernon DCYF office. She likes that every single day at DCYF is so different. She enjoys the variety of desk work and field work and says she is surrounded by some amazing social workers and supervisors. Laurel states her practicum is instilling professional confidence in order for her to step outside her comfort zone. Laurel says this experience is empowering for her and has taught her to trust herself. Laurel is so professionally happy and loves all the new learning. Her daughter told Laurel that she has never seen her mom so happy. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of children and families. CWTAP has allowed her to give back to her community, to be a part of something large, and to do what her social worker did for her.
For self-care, Laurel enjoys doing anything outdoors. She says being in nature is the perfect anti-anxiety remedy. She also loves going on family road trips.