Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

As I look back as to why I am pursuing a doctorate degree in counseling and school psychology, I remember where I came from, what I endured, and those who helped me along the way. In my successes and failures, I realized what I was meant to do, and who I am meant to be. My journey as to how I got to where I am, began in Savannah, Georgia.

In my early twenties, I was working as a paralegal in a lawfirm in Georgia. I felt as though I was serving a purpose, helping people who were injured and facing stress paying their medical bills. However, as I progressed in my career, I encountered a case which would change my life. I retained a client who was hit by a car and accured high amounts of medical bills. Due to these medical bills, the client was facing evicition and homelessness. After proposing this case to the attorney I worked under and stressing the need to help this women, I was told her case was not worth enough and we would not be taking her on as a client. I strived to find her counsel, but by the time I did, she was already homeless. I felt defeated, and as though I failed her. I came to the realization much of my job was based on judging people based on a monetay value, instead of their need for help. I knew this profession, while I felt I helped some, I could not provide services to all, and it went against what I morally stand for. I was told by a fellow colleague how the field of psychology may be a good fit for me.

I pondered this notion, and began to think about my present goals and future dreams. I came to a point where I wanted to help and advocate in others regardless of their status in life. I had the chance to work and live in a town which had a strong military presence, and my signifiant other had come back from deployment. I began to connect trends of adversity among military members transitioning back into a civilian world, and the struggle the face on a daily basis. This drove my passion to better serve this population.

Natalie from New Hampshire
Rivier University