A licensed clinical therapist, social worker, and motivational speaker with over 15 years of experience, KARA VOJCSIK ’04 is committed to confronting anxiety, depression, and mental health head on.
With her “You Matter” workshops and lectures, Vojcsik’s modern approach gets you out of your head but leaves you thinking. In April 2022, Vojcsik was invited to Graceland’s Lamoni campus to speak with faculty and staff about building positive environments that nurture mental health. In her authentic get-real style, she opened her talk in Newcom Student Union with a quote: “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” The room filled with murmurs of agreement as Vojcsik continued her presentation. The staff and faculty opened up to each other and shared their “why” — why they have chosen this profession, why they get up in the morning, and why they were there that day. The session finished with breaking down “the world of not good enough,” where anxiety, depression, and perfectionism take over. Vojcsik outlined signs and symptoms that appear in students, coworkers, or even themselves when struggling with these issues.
Later that evening, she also spoke at the invitation of Graceland Student Government and the Intersectional Feminism Alliance club in the Shaw Center’s JR Theatre. Students from the women’s soccer, basketball, and dance teams were in attendance, along with house presidents, house council members, and other Graceland students. The theme of the evening was to discuss the importance of women’s empowerment on personal and social levels. All the attendees gathered together in a circle on the floor and had vulnerable conversations about self-gaslighting, playing small to fit in, and being “too much.” By the end of the evening, students were embracing, reassuring each other with kind words, and thanking Vojcsik for coming to speak with them.
“I have dedicated my life to raising awareness and compassion for mental health. It was so meaningful for me to return to my alma mater and engage in these critical conversations that contribute to campus culture and mental wellness.” Vojcsik said.