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

I stood next to the hospital bed and held her grandma's hand. I had traveled with Katy and Grandma to the emergency room because Grandma feared for her life living with six-year-old Katy. For weeks prior, I had visited the home daily to try to guide Grandma and help Katy, but I eventually had to tell them that the situation was beyond my experience and beyond my abilities and it was time to seek help from medical professions.

The entry point for a psychiatric evaluation and hospitalization is the emergency room. I traveled with Grandma and Katy to the big entrance, sat in the room with machines and strange smells, and provided reassurance for both when needed. Eventually, this small six-year-old girl was strapped to a gurney and taken by ambulance to a psychiatric ward to stay for observation and medication management.

With more experience and training, I could have offered this family more help and possibly avoided this scenario. With more training I can help the numerous people I encounter each year to improve their lives and find peace.

My dream is to obtain my counseling license and move to a rural area where access to mental-health is low and many turn to substance use to self-medicate. I want to reach out to individuals and families who have been caught in a cycle of abuse and help them recover and break that cycle, improving the lives, families, and communities of these rural areas. I have spent the past 20 years working as an educator in rural areas where I have taught the children in these families and have had limitations in access to help and support. With this degree and training I can help families to recover and improve in ways I have dreamed of helping for decades.

Thank you for your time in reading this and helping to fund those of us working to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

Jill from Missouri
Evangel University