JFS Alumni, 1998-2002; 2003-2004
Valeries' sister and fellow JFS Alumni, Kelly Savidis
"It's a cliché, but patience is a virtue. You have to be present in the moment and savor the academic experience, while absorbing every bit of information you can, because it will make the achievement even that much sweeter."
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Valerie Savidis graduated from Skidmore College with a double major in Sociology and Dance and Pratt Institute with a Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy. She had a great experience in graduate school, learning a tremendous amount both academically and personally. Her passion for dance led her to be an active member of the Dance Therapy community. As a student, she served as a student liaison for the New York Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association and she currently serves as the chapter's treasurer. Valerie was anxious to finish her education and make plans for her future, but realized that to in order to achieve her goals she would have to spend the time studying and preparing for success.
Upon graduating, Valerie worked at a nursing home, and found that she wanted to work with the mentally ill geriatric populations in a clinical environment. She found the perfect fit in Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She is currently working in the field of psychiatry as a Creative Arts Therapist on several inpatient units that include adult, geriatric, child/adolescent, and mentally ill chemically addicted adults. She runs several groups a day on these units, and enjoys her job finding the clinical environment exciting and challenging.
Valerie is currently pursuing a second master's degree in public health at Hunter College. Eventually she would like to be a head administrator for a profit/non-profit healthcare program or have a private practice.
Creative and Committed
Valerie's patience has certainly paid off with her many academic and professional achievements. Valerie has accomplished her dreams of completing her education and being able to help those in need while doing what she loves. She has also achieved her long-term dream of performing modern/contemporary dance pieces in theaters around New York City.
Outside of work and school, Valerie celebrates her Greek heritage as vice-president and an active member of the Maids of Athena, a charitable organization for Greek American young adults. She is also an active member of the Young Adult League, an organization of young adults of the Greek Orthodox faith, which contributes to those less fortunate.
A Family Scholarship
Valerie credits the scholarship as a major contributing factor in attaining her education, meeting her mentors, and learning about the mental health field, all while enjoying her passion for dance and creativity. "Most programs would not see the benefit of creativity and dance, but Jefferies Family Scholarship was and continues to be open in seeing the vast opportunities for young adults."
Valerie's sister, Kelly, is a fellow Scholarship recipient and earned her bachelor's degree in Nutrition from New York University's Steinhardt School of Education and currently works for the Board of Education. She played on NYU's women's soccer NCAA tournament team. In high school, Kelly was inducted into the National Honor Society and was a varsity athlete and captain of the soccer team. She also spent time in Italy studying the Mediterranean diet. "My sister and I are grateful to Jefferies for awarding us this scholarship which has helped us accomplish our academic goals."
Valerie's mother, Kathy Savidis has worked in the Convertibles department at Jefferies for more than 20 years. "She has always spoken highly of Jefferies in the fact that it is a company that not only provides excellent benefits but is a place to grow as an employee," says Valerie.