I hope to be accepted to the doctoral program in Education at John Hopkins University. I am passionately devoted to building a career in Education and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Social Behavior with a focus on Education Science from UC Irvine (2017-2019). Since then, I have been working towards an Educational Specialist Degree (E.Ds.) in School Psychology with a PPS Credential in School Psychology from California State University, ____. I will finish my Master’s Degree in June 2022. My current GPA stands at 3.9.
Along with academics, volunteering, and community service are central to my long-term career plans and professional goals. I have deeply-rooted ties with the LGBTQ community, and I am also an avid student of marginalized immigrant populations. While growing up, I was at the receiving end of severe bullying and discrimination, not only due to my sexual identity as a gay male but also my ethnic background as a Hispanic. I was told that I was too ‘feminine’ and walked and talked like a girl. Too young to understand what was happening at first, my confidence shattered like a mirror breaking into numerous shards requiring years of recovery to rebuild my self-esteem and carve out my identity. I now look forward to shielding kids from facing the kind of abuse that I once endured. Abused children often believe that there is shame in seeking help, and I want to work especially hard to contribute to overcoming this stigma.
Raised by a single immigrant mother from Guatemala who worked as a housekeeper, I never knew a father or any support except my mom. My first language was Spanish, making things challenging for the first few years of school. My mother worked around the clock, and loneliness was my most loyal companion. By the sixth grade, I knew I was somehow ‘different.’ I had also begun to believe that this bullying resulted from my actions because I was unlike other boys since, from third grade on, I was labeled with homophobic slurs, spat upon, and sexually assaulted. In retrospect, a school psychologist would have helped me a great deal to get through this, but there was no such help available. Come my junior year of high school, I dropped out. I spent the next decade sorting and folding clothes in a store, cleaning, etc. While I later became a supervisor, it would have been much better for me to have entered college sooner.
In 2017, I earned my associate's degree in Psychology. This was a period of personal and academic evolution. I spent a lot of time perusing the National Association of School Psychology website, learning about school psychologists' day-to-day activities, challenges, and triumphs, especially as linked to diversity issues. Soon, I found my true calling- to become a school counselor and fill the void I had felt so profoundly during my years in school. At UCI, I was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship.
I seek a career facilitating the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children and adolescents, with a focus on behavioral disorders and developmental psychopathology; counseling and therapy; cultural, social, and personality influences on behavior; attitude formation and change; cognition and emotion; health psychology; stress and coping. At UC ____, I assisted with several research projects, most notably concerning using Live Ink vs. traditional text and its relationship to instructional strategies and achievements. In 2018, I was able to study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Since March 2018, I have volunteered with ____, an after-school program in Santa Ana for students from low-income Hispanic/Latinx families. I help young people with their homework. I have also worked with kids that have ADHD, anxiety, neurodivergent problems, etc. I look forward to specializing in observation, assessment, and counseling, and especially crisis counseling and conflict resolution, helping parents and children with unresolved issues to find the correct answers.
Mental health counseling, behavior management and consultation: principles, ethics, and strategies, especially as concerned teachers and parents now stand at the center of my world. I hope to be accepted to the cutting-edge Master’s Program in Education at __U to learn all I can about ensuring that education institutions promote psychologically healthy environments by implementing research-based, highly effective programs that promote optimal learning.