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Life in the Spotlight

A Valpo Life In the Spotlight: Anne Marie Rini

Anne Marie Rini, Behavioral Treatment Specialist at Porter Starke Services, loves to give back to her community through her work. She discovered the secret to finding her perfect career; making a contribution to her community.

“I think the community is only as strong as members make it,” Rini said. “If people are willing to give back, then it really says something about the actual strength of that community.”

Rini grew up in Valparaiso and attended Chesterton High School while her mother worked as a social worker and helped at the local crisis center.

“My mom has been a social worker and she’s done mental health counseling,” Rini said. “She’s been working in community health at The Caring Place for a long time, at least 40 years. She’s also a clinical psychologist.”

Rini received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Chemistry at Beloit College in Wisconsin and began to pursue a career in environmental research science.

“After finishing my chemistry degree, I felt sort of disheartened with how business-oriented research science is,” Rini said. “I felt that I wanted something that was more human, so I decided to take a break before going on to higher education.”

As Rini contemplated how she could combine her passion for helping others and her need for a steady income, she spent six months in India. Traveling, trying new cuisines, and adventuring helped Rini introspect as she took a short break from her previous career. Adhering to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Rini realized that self-actualization proved to be an important piece of the puzzle.

“I came home from traveling and I didn’t have any money left,” Rini said. “My parents suggested that I try social work since I’d been interested in psychology. They’ve offered me a ton of support with my new aim towards a career in social work”

She began working as a Day Treatment Specialist at Porter Starke Services for adults with severe mental illnesses. Rini has worked at Porter Starke for six years now, and she has since switched her position to Behavioral Treatment Specialist.

“I’m interested in pursuing an additional degree of some sort in neuroscience,” Rini said, “I’d really like to get in on the new wave of neurological treatments for those with mental illness.”

Rini is going to college in South Bend to receive her Master’s in Social Work so she can continue to work with severely mentally ill adults and pursue her passion for helping others.

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