visualize my career, I see myself helping troubled youth, either in a juvenile detention center or in a public outreach program. I see myself helping restore hope and faith in humanity at a shelter for battered women. I see myself counseling and aiding those who are less fortunate. I see myself making a difference, and I know that the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree program at UCLA can help me to bring that career visualization to life. I've always had a deep, personal desire to help other people. I want to reach out to those who are abused, less fortunate, or otherwise disadvantaged and make their lives better. This is not something that I decided I wanted to do last week or last month. This is something that has been with me since I can remember and something that only grows stronger as I get a little older and gain a better understanding of the world.
While I have compassion for all people who are in these kinds of situations, I am most interested in working with adolescents who are struggling with family issues, problems at school, or other crises. I personally struggled when I was due to forces outside my realm of control. I want to inspire youth and people. I want to be the voice of those I feel are silenced with shame and despair. This is a daunting task, and one that can take a toll on a person because it of the problems that are seen every day and the people who cannot be helped, or the people who are not reached in time. Some people say that these kinds of jobs are foolish because you can't help everyone. They wonder what the point really is. While I understand that I can't help everyone, I can certainly help someone and that won't get done if I don't make the effort to get out there and do it. I'm capable of helping people now, just by being human, but there is so much more I could do with a higher level of education that I feel I must pursue that goal.
A also feel as though I have a lot to bring to the degree program I have chosen. My interpersonal skills are strong, and I know that will help carry me through not only the program but my career as well. I listen well, and when people speak I actually take the time to hear what they are saying instead of just nodding and mostly tuning them out. I try for impartiality and I know that there are two sides to every story, no matter how one-sided it might actually sound. Being nonbiased and nonjudgmental is difficult, and these aren't attributes that many people seem to possess anymore, but I am proud to still have these ideals and to work to keep them around. They are important parts of being human.
A also know the value of positive reinforcement in the form of hand gestures, body motion, and eye contact. There are many non-verbal ways to let someone know that you are interested in them and what they have to say. I feel as though I am very skilled as a communicator, and I work well with others. One of the ways that I have developed this is through experiences that were multicultural. Through visiting my husband who is serving in the military I have made separate trips to Bahrain, Thailand, and Hong Kong. I have also taken separate trips to Galway, Ireland for a study-abroad program and to Guadalajara, Mexico, where I lived for two months over the summer to study the Spanish language. These travels made me much more aware of my own culture, and much more aware of the cultures of other people and how they need to be understood and respected. These people are not 'wrong' just because they do things differently than we do.
In Bahrain there are religious views that are very different from my own, and their stance on the modesty of women is also very different from what I experience in the United States. In Thailand there is terrible poverty, and I returned home from that trip so very appreciative of all the little things that I have and that I often used to take for granted. In Mexico there are folkloric dances and the Day of the Dead festival (El Dia…