To understand my decision to enroll in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program, it must be understood that my reality growing up was a bit “atypical.” I grew up with Knoblock Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that results in extreme nearsightedness. Throughout my undergrad years, I worked at several summer camps that specialized in innovative recreational opportunities in an accessible environment for individuals with varying abilities. Throughout my collected experiences at camp, I learned the value of all that is right in this world: patience, understanding, compassion, respect, and love. I saw the best, brightest, and most beautiful sides of humanity. It was at camp that I found an interest in the profession of healing.
"I am looking forward to having a playground where I can learn, question, challenge, and grow my narrative, knowledge, and professional competence."
What are you most looking forward to at UW–Madison?
I am looking forward to having a playground where I can learn, question, challenge, and grow my narrative, knowledge, and professional competence. Furthermore, [I am looking forward to having] the means of meeting new people that are just as eager to engage in meaningful discussions.
How do you feel going into the fall semester?
In short, a balance between nervous yet determined. Obviously, COVID-19 has shifted the way we interact and engage at all levels of learning. Yet, we must remain open to make necessary changes to keep our neighbors safe and healthy.
What will your focus be this semester?
My focus will be on doing my best academically, getting engaged with the community, and making the best out of every opportunity.
How do you plan to stay connected with your friends, classmates, and professors this fall?
The best way that we can handle these changes is with a great amount of empathy and understanding from classmates and professors alike. Everyone can acknowledge that we are living in some strange times, but if we remain resilient and determined we can all come out on top, a little bit wiser and with love in our hearts. We must remain in communication to reinforce inspiration and mental fortitude.
"As a young professional my ambition is aimed at achieving certification as both a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)."
What are your career plans after graduation?
As a young professional my ambition is aimed at achieving certification as both a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The scope of a graduate-level program offers the training, knowledge, and skills to open doors into different settings of the profession. My ultimate professional career goal is to open my private practice integrating the professional counseling process with nature. It is the career I have chosen, not only because it offers me personal fulfillment, but through it, I can do some good in a world sorely in need of it.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of school and work?
I am a huge fan of podcasting, reading, running, cooking, and occasionally video games. Recently, I launched Humans with Knobloch Syndrome, an aspiring nonprofit organization set to connect individuals and families who are diagnosed with Knobloch Syndrome. This is a project that encompasses values of vulnerability, community, accessibility, and a supportive relationship with mental health.