Sydney Butler poses, smiling for the camera, in front of a lush green background

When Sydney Butler (EDU '17) began her studies at Temple University, she knew she wanted to do something within education. Her initial studies in early childhood education were fulfilling, but she also loved her sociology classes and the analysis of societal systems.

As a teenager, she worked for Maryland's leading non-profit organization for leadership development for middle and high school students. Butler found that she wanted to combine her love for character development, diversity education and soft skills with education, and that's when she discovered the college's human development and community engagement program. Combining her interests, Butler says it was the perfect major for her, and it has blossomed into a career path that she never anticipated.  

"Essentially, I went from working within schools advancing racial equity work in affluent communities heavily affected by racial inequities, to working in educational nonprofits in underserved communities doing the same," said Butler. She was able to draw from her personal and professional experiences, serving also as a facilitator in conflict management and DEI training. Butler currently is a consultant for facilitating and coaching on restorative justice in education, arts education and DEI in education through educator professional development workshops in the Baltimore/DC area.

Her interests don't stop there. "In the next five years [my goal is] to become a therapist working specifically on somatic healing practices from racial trauma, gender trauma, and religious trauma for individuals and groups," said Butler. "HDCE leads to many places! It was exactly what I needed, and I am able to put my degree to good use."

For information on the HDCE program, please visit