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Clinical Psychology PHD, Forensics, Juvenile Detention

Updated: Jan 26

While conscious of myself as a young Mexican woman, I think of myself as a global citizen, and I thrive best on communication. Although Psychology has always been my first love, I was a double major in communication. Still only 22, I have learned the profound value of being a good communicator, practiced, precise, kind, a good listener, and a team player.

My first choice for graduate study is at the University of XXXX in their Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program because I am seeking a world-class doctorate in Clinical Psychology that will optimally prepare me for a long and distinguished career in forensics or a related avenue of research and development. Above all, it is the criminal mind that draws me to psychology. I am probably gearing up for Law School, and your program would provide the optimal intellectual platform for that aspiration as well. I am convinced that the area of criminology is central to my destiny because psychology is fundamental to the development of just laws to address our complex criminal realities in increasingly productive ways.

I am especially looking forward to doing graduate work concerning the mental health of our at-risk populations, adolescents and adults, incarcerated youth, and most specifically the decision-making of at-risk populations, as well as the long-term effects of childhood victimization. The bulk of my research has been on adolescent females in juvenile detention.

I look forward to a lifetime of professional research concerning the underserved or at-risk populations of all age groups. After completing my Ph.D., I plan to explore a career in criminology in addition to going into private practice. My ideal job would be a Psychological Profiler for either the FBI or a police department. I hope to work proactively, protecting potential victims from would-be perpetrators. Raised in a bilingual family, I want to put my Spanish to good use solving crimes and seeking justice for the perpetrators.

I have taken to Spanish poetry as therapy and traveled to Mexico on several occasions to work in orphanages, helping to build homes and spending a long time in a retirement center with elderly residents. Placing a high value on cross-cultural diversity, in LA I volunteered for an organization that helped immigrants from Africa get adjusted to America; and also spent a year as a religious studies assistant teacher at my church where I worked directly with children and adolescents from 10-15. I have spent most of my last two years doing research that included going into the Santa Clara detention center and interviewing incarcerated girls.

I am extremely hardworking and passionate. Although my GRE scores are not strong, at least with the exception of the analytical section,, I have proven myself to be a hardworking student by graduating with honors in both of my majors, taking an overload of up to 24 units a quarter. Often the head of my team for group assignments, I always struggled to make our team as diligent and productive as possible, doing far more interview work than any other research assistant.

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