Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Why

 Do you know your why?
Just a few months ago a friend posted Michael Jr's Know Your Why video on Facebook. (see below)

This video ignites my passion about school counseling each time I see it. 
I know my why and it makes me excited to do what I do every day. 

My journey to becoming a school counselor began when I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia. I accepted a position where I had interned during my final year as a Social Work major, an adult male detention center for the Georgia Department of Corrections. As a counselor in this correctional facility, my biggest lessons came while working with many gang and hate group members as the security threat group coordinator. My caseload of detainees was mainly made up of men who were a part of various gangs. These men, ranging from 18-50+ years old, were some of the most talented, charismatic, and intelligent people I had met. Yet... 90% of them had not graduated from high school. When I would inquire about their education it became very apparent that for most of them had no connection to school. They did not know anyone in their family or community who graduated high school and they did not feel connected to anyone at their school. School wasn't a place where as young men they felt they belonged or where they saw a path to success and opportunity. I knew after two years at the detention center that I could must get into a school setting to make an impact at an early age. 
After two more degrees (Master of Social Work and Educational Specialist in School Counseling) and a couple of other jobs, I finally found my place and purpose as a school counselor. 
Connecting with kids and connecting them to their education is my why! 
I look for ways to connect with my students and to connect them to their education constantly. Along the way I am trying out new things (like this blog!) to help me keep my focus on connecting and to share information about connecting with others. 

My good school counseling friend, Stacey Miller, constantly tells me to share what I am doing so that others can make an impact with kids too, so...... here we go... 

I plan to share lessons I have learned from others about making connections, initiatives and interventions for connecting and simple every day strategies I use to connect with kids.  I hope what I share is useful and/or idea creating for others! 

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