Aquinas Spotlight - Niki Klco

With a passion for social justice, Niki Klco takes joy in learning about theology at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis.

“As a social worker, you’re not a voice for others but, rather, you’re amplifying their voices,” she says. “It’s not that people don’t have a voice, it’s just that they’re not being heard or are being ignored.”

Raised in a Catholic family, Niki grew up in Whitehall, Michigan, a small town by Lake Michigan. Having enjoyed the religious experience during her undergraduate studies at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI she later lived and worked as a Dominican Volunteer for two years.

Her love for the Dominican sisters’ charisms and experience-based studies led her here to Aquinas Institute where she is earning her Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies while simultaneously pursuing a Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University.

Niki has loved getting to learn about theology in new and exciting ways at Aquinas Institute.

 “I like learning through classes such as Christology, Bible Interpretation, and Pastoral Care of the Sick. I’ve discovered things about topics I never knew I could ask,” she says. “It’s very cerebral, and with the social work degree I can put this theology to practical use.”

Ready to graduate in May after three years of study, Niki is opening her future to different possibilities, including mental health work with marginalized youth while also discerning a religious vocation. Whichever route she takes, Niki will strive to accompany those who are often forgotten or neglected in our world.