René T. Assetta Guilbeau '94

Manager of Child Life and Family Advocacy at Tulane Medical Center's Hospital for Children, René T. Assetta Guilbeau '94 has been in the forefront of the fight to help the city recuperate from the lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina

Though René has been through many challenges during the past 15 years, she says, "When Hurricane Katrina struck, it changed my life. But I am still passionate and driven to do the work I do-maybe even more so. As part of this community, my colleagues and I continue to work each day to rebuild our city's neighborhoods as well as our own lives.

"Wheelock introduced me to my profession and what I believe I was meant to do: Child Life. I remember the instruction and encouragement I received from professors who are experts in their fields, and the varied experiences I had as an undergraduate working with diverse groups of children and families in Boston's communities."

Wheelock was the perfect fit for René, "Small classes, great professors who actually answered questions and knew my name, as well as wonderful friends who all shared my passion for kids," she says.

"Since Katrina, Wheelock students, professors, and alumni have been visiting New Orleans continuously to provide much-needed support and assistance, and I have been able to reconnect with the school and its mission from a different, but just as meaningful, perspective. It has been a privilege for me to meet and share my experiences with the groups of visiting students as well as to experience their enthusiasm as they begin their life journeys.

"I appreciate the many opportunities in life Wheelock has given me, and I am proud to say I am an alumna. I am even more proud and appreciative that Wheelock continues to excel in educating young people who I know will become exceptionally dedicated professionals working with children and families."