I have a great passion for counseling, and my enthusiasm that is marked with lots of determination made me secure my current job as Shelter Manager at Interfaith Emergency Services. Under my obligation, I am responsible for creating and integrating a counseling program into our organization by partnering with licensed therapist such as Ignite Counseling, in which I am also a member of the board. My interest in the field has grown tremendously due to my managerial job at the homeless shelter. In which it has given me an opportunity to work with individuals who have experienced huge traumatic events in their life. In this perception, I have always felt if I secured a Masters (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling from the University of NOVA would enable me to accomplish the goals before me. However, I prefer the University of NOVA because it has elaborate programs in the study which are equipped with my specific areas of interest which include spirituality in counseling, trauma, and community mental health.
In fact, my spirited efforts will expand the organization and be able to reach out as many people as possible in the society who are forgotten and are in need of healing. The university is also fortunate to have professors such as Dr. Tara Jungersen who have specialized in trauma, and community health. Another on the list is Dr. Shannon Karl who is an expert in spirituality and counseling.
The reason why I believe I am the right person for this course is that despite the challenges that I faced that made me drop out of school, I managed to secure a job as a manager in 2016. I had graduated with a B.A in 1997 from the University of Miami, in which I had majored in Psychology and religious studies. I have managed to spearhead the organization towards achieving its objectives. My duties and responsibilities included skill-training, vocational and recreational programs for residents, creating and monitoring treatment plans, and supervising the overall shelter operations. From the year 2014 to 2016, I worked as a counselor in Interfaith Emergency Services where I provided mentorship for the homeless population of Ocala. In the year 2011 to 2012, I worked as a Group Counselor in Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services where I facilitated group therapy for the children in the foster care system. I have also worked as a volunteer from 2010 to 2012 in Miami Rescue Mission.
Subsequently, from the year 2007 to 2010, I participated in Dawn Angelia Photography which involved a Cuban documentary project. My primary duties and responsibilities were to create, and present photographic exhibition on the resiliency of the Cuban people encountered on my journeys. It also involved interviews about mental health care, obstacles towards personal advancement and show of many ways that Cuban people find their strength and perseverance. I also worked as a facilitator from 2004 to 2006 in The Wellness Community I participated in conducting interviews to individual members in order to assess their social, emotional capabilities and assisted support groups for cancer clients.
In the year 2002 to 2005, I worked at the University of Miami as a staff therapist. The title of the occupation was Institute for family and individual counseling. I provided 850 hours of counseling sessions and received 150 hours of supervision from a licensed psychologist. To add to the list, from the year 2002 to 2003, I worked as a case manager in a working solutions program. In which I came up with personal inventories, career interests, psychological, and intelligence quotient tests. I also participated in vocational seminars and one-on-one training to meet the interests, needs, and abilities of the clients.
Lastly, from the year 2000 to 2002, I worked as a Psychosocial Group Counselor in a Fellowship House in which I provided psychosocial assistance to clients diagnosed with schizophrenia. I also engaged in stress management, behavior modification, family sessions and group counseling.
After graduating with a degree in 1997, I enrolled for a Masters of Psychological Education – Mental Health Counseling. Unfortunately, I was faced with some challenges that affected my learning process. In fact, I had progressed very well with the master’s program; I had completed all requirements, such as supervision, practicing areas and passing the comprehensive examination. While I was only two classes to my graduation, I was hit by tragedy. My fianc©e was involved in an automobile accident that left him in a coma for several months until he succumbed to death. My grandfather also became ill with cancer, and I had to move to his home which was in a different state so that I can take care of him until his passing.
That is the reason why I am applying for a Master’s program at this time, but I believe I stand in a good position than before because I have gained enormous experience and knowledge in the field. I am very much optimistic that I will get a chance to study the Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at the University of NOVA. This is because the course will be of very much relevance to my current job, I will be able to carry out extensive and intensive training, carry out group therapies, diagnostic testing and assessments in a more professional manner.
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