Graduates in the Spotlight

Kaitlyn LaBonte

Image of Kaitlyn LaBonteHOMETOWN: South Windsor, Connecticut

MAJOR:  Double-major in Social Work and Political Science

WCSU DEGREE:  Bachelor of Social Work

ACTIVITIES: WCSU Women’s Basketball (2014-18), Women’s Basketball Captain (2017-18), student mentor on campus through the Western Connection Program (three years), work for Event Services on campus

INTERNSHIPS: Hancock Student Leadership Leadership Shadowing Experience with CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut (fall 2016), Social Work Intern at Shelter Rock Elementary School (spring 2017), Social Work Intern at Wilton Youth Services (fall 2017-spring 2018)

HONORS AND AWARDS: Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Dean’s List all four years, Phi Alpha Honors Society, Merit Scholar, Hancock Student Leader, Laura Duffy Memorial Scholarship, Beatrice K. Nemzer Outstanding Junior Award, Alumni Association Scholarship, WCSU/AAUP Steven A. Ward Leadership Award, 2015 and 2016 Hat City Classic All-Tournament Team, 2015 Little East Conference All Rookie Team, 2016 and 2017 WCSU Defensive Player of the Year, 2016-17 Second Team All-Conference, 2017 WCSU Colonial of the Year



Kaitlyn LaBonte had three main considerations when selecting a college and found the perfect combination at WCSU. “I came to WestConn because it presented the best opportunities for me academically, athletically and financially,” she says.

She wanted to go into a helping profession and was attracted to the variety of opportunities social work had to offer. “I added a second major of political science after being in the social work program because I realized I wanted to pursue a career in international social work.”

While many point to faculty members as their mentor on campus, Kaitlyn found a mentor in a fellow student a few years ahead of her. “Jessica Lin was an incredible mentor for me. She was a student when I first started at WestConn and later became the assistant director of the Kathwari Honors Program. Throughout my four years at WestConn, Jess has been there for every step, given me incredible advice and guidance, and been a great friend.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Labonte says, “It is hard to narrow down one specific moment at WestConn because I’ve had such a great experience, but one of my most memorable experiences was living with international students my freshman year (an Australian, a Moroccan, and a French student) and building incredible friendship and memories with them.”

After graduation, Labonte says, “I have the intention of joining the Peace Corps to leave March 2019 and be a health outreach volunteer.”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Make sure to take time for self-care.”