School Psychology and Counselor Education
- 2021, William & Mary, Master of Education, School Counseling
- 2017, University of Virginia, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Bachelor of Science, Youth and Social Innovation
As a student pursuing a master's degree in School Counseling, why did you choose this field?
I have always been passionate about students, education, and mental health. After spending time in many education and mentoring programs in undergrad, I knew this was the field for me. I worked as a college adviser with the Virginia College Advising Corps for two years prior to graduate school and immediately knew that I had to become a school counselor. Many students, especially those in marginalized populations, will never have the opportunity to see a counselor or seek other mental health or higher education resources. I want to be that resource for them, and as a school counselor I will get to do this every day.
What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
In 10 to 15 years I would love to be the director of a school counseling office. I have also considered going to school for a Ph.D., but right now, I know that working daily with adolescents is where I belong.
Why did you choose to apply to William & Mary and specifically to this program?
I chose William & Mary because it fosters a close-knit community that focuses on mental health, even in the school counseling program. The emphasis on clinical mental health will prepare me to better help my future students. In addition to getting my school counseling degree, I wanted the opportunity to pursue becoming a licensed professional counselor after graduation, and this program will allow me to do just that. The school counseling program is small, so we have more leeway in our practicum and internship options, in addition to easy access to professors and classes. I wanted an intimate, meaningful experience, and that is exactly what I am receiving!
What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
This program is unique in that it prepares the school counseling students to work towards their professional licensure upon graduation. Many programs simply focus on the school part of counseling, so I enjoy the emphasis on clinical mental health as well. It is well-integrated into the entire counseling program, so we can gain a variety of perspectives.
What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
The most influential experience I’ve had thus far took place in my graduate assistantship, working as a mentor with Project Empower at a local high school. After working with a struggling student all semester, I was finally able to make a breakthrough with him as he realized his potential and accomplish his goal to graduate. He told me, "I am finally proud of myself. I wouldn’t have accomplished this if you hadn’t pushed me.” I strive to instill this sense of pride and ability in all of my students, because sometimes all they need is one person to believe in them.
Any additional information you think a prospective student should know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
This is a great program, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The faculty is attentive, caring, and involved. The students are diverse, curious, and inspiring. Graduate school is a tough decision, but I know that I wouldn’t change my decision for anything. I hope others could be as lucky!