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

My motivation to continue my education in addiction and mental health counseling is empowering individuals with mental illness to live an enjoyable and fulfilling life. I have struggled with feelings of emptiness and with the help of therapy I was able to overcome those hurdles. People aren’t often able to get out of a negative state of mind alone, and that is why I want to help. My goal is to come from a place of compassion and connection that allows people to feel vulnerable, while also feeling heard and unconditionally accepted. There are people who view vulnerability as a weakness, but I believe acknowledging those areas of our lives is one of the most courageous things we can do as humans.

Having personal experience of mental illness allows me to understand others in a more empathic perspective. Growing up in a low-income household with family members struggling with addiction, life was extremely hard at times. Initially, I was bitter about the effect these hardships would have on my personal and professional goals. However, after a while I came to realize that these events were leading me towards becoming a stronger person. As a result of my personal experiences, I decided to dedicate my career to helping those struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

By continuing to a master’s program, I will be eligible to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in the state of Colorado. Being a licensed clinician will allow me to diagnose and treat individuals at a higher level of care as well as go more in depth into their treatment. By working in this environment, I will have the opportunity to see the progress a client makes from the time they start treatment to when they have completed it. Knowing a client has improved and grown while in treatment is one of the most rewarding things to see as a helping professional. Furthering my education will help me reach my goal of becoming a successful therapist and helping those who are struggling.

Aspen from Colorado
Metropolitan State University of Denver