Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences Alumna Impacts Children in the Lubbock Community

Mallory Collins

March 8, 2022

Carmen Pedersen

Mairin LaGrave works at Lubbock ISD as a certified early intervention specialist

In 2019, Mairin LaGrave received her degree in Human Development and Family Studies, now Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS). Today she is a certified early intervention specialist pursuing her master's in counseling.

LaGrave works at Lubbock ISD Early Childhood Intervention as an early intervention specialist. Her primary focus is cognitive and social skills. One part of her role is to help families access necessary resources.

“I provide specialized skill training to children in our program from birth to three. In my role, I work on overall development of the child,” LaGrave said. “I see children in all settings and get to be a part of helping them reach developmental milestones.”

From a young age, she knew she wanted to work with children. LaGrave loves getting to get to know the families she serves. In her role, she gets to be there for the children's major milestones, like taking their first step or saying their first word.

“It's so exciting to see my clients and family make progress,” LaGrave said. “Helping families is what our program is truly about, and it's shown through our everyday work.”

The HDFS program allows for many opportunities and paves the way to various careers in education. The program also fulfills the requirements to pursue the early specialist certificate. Along with the degree, LaGrave gained needed experience through substitute teaching for Lubbock ISD.

“During undergrad, I worked in a variety of settings that involved children and families,” LaGrave said. “The coursework covered such a variety of subjects I felt like I had a better opportunity to apply my degree to several different career options.”

The Human Development and Family Sciences program promotes the health and well-being of individuals, families, and relationships across the life span. Students are able to work directly with children and learn from interactive experiences. This knowledge is used in a variety of career fields and jobs.

“HDFS is such a versatile degree. You can use the knowledge you learn in our major across a variety of settings,” LaGrave said. “I worked in a couple of different industries after I graduated, and I was always able to use what I learned.”

Her experience from the HDFS program allows her to form impactful relationships with the students and help them with essential development skills. The HDFS program teaches students an understanding of individuals and families and professional communication skills. LaGrave uses the knowledge she learned in the HDFS program every day.

“I also think my practicum course really gave me a great sneak peek of the professional world,” LaGrave said. “The HDFS program prepared me for becoming a knowledgeable servant in the West Texas community.”

LaGrave is inspired by helping children and their families and being able to make an impact in their lives. As an early intervention specialist, she helps the community and the next generation of students with cognitive and social skills. She loves getting to be a part of the learning and growing process.

“I get to use my degree to help the children in our area succeed and meet developmental milestones,” LaGrave said. “Even bigger than that, I am able to help families get the resources they need to be successful.”