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I was born on the beautiful island, Jamaica, in the Caribbean. I was raised by both of my parents who are very hard-working and supportive people. I have been fortunate in that they have always been very supportive of my decisions. I can see how they have supported me and allowed me to make my own mistakes and grow from them. I consider myself to be Caribbean-American.
I attended the City College of New York’s Center for Workforce Education (CWE) and graduated in 2019 with my Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. I am currently in my final year at Alfred University, studying Mental Health Counseling, I will be graduating this coming June 2021 with my Masters in Mental Health Counseling with a Major in Mental Health.
I went into counseling because this is a field where WE (Blacks) are the least represented. In the Black community counseling is taboo especially coming from a Caribbean background. We were taught to keep our problems to ourselves and let God deal with it. What we fail to understand as a community is speaking to some one can and will release all the stress and burdens that we experience every day. We do not have to live and suffer in silence alone. One way for us as a community to understand and accept counseling/therapy is seeing familiar faces sitting on the opposite side of us. Someone we could relate to and who knows our struggles and becoming a counselor/ therapist is just one step closer for my community to normalize and accept therapy isn’t as bad as our parents and grandparents made it seem. It is okay to seek and speak with someone.
I have worked with the Department of Education with youth for several years. I also taught at a learning academy afterschool/summer camp program in East New York.
Working with my people of color brings me joy and it is such a pleasure to give back to my community. We may all look the same to others on the outside, and we do have commonalities and a broader shared culture, however, we are also very different. We each have a sense of uniqueness that we bring to the table that no one else has and I get to experience that firsthand by working amongst some wonderful and powerful Black people.
I believe I deal with racism everyday however, not individually. I have seen mistreatment within the educational system. I see how students are treated based on the socioeconomic status of their family. This is a community I am connected to and I feel strongly that it is unfair that children have to experience such disparities, and a lack of resources in school because of their economic status. Education and resources should be equal and fair amongst every student no matter their socioeconomic status.
My clinical approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. I enjoy it and see its value in directly helping clients to figure out what they want most out of life and setting attainable goals they can use to measure their progress. I have been described as being consistent, patient and very observant.
I am terrified of heights, but I like to walk over the Brooklyn bridge and enjoy the view of the city. While walking the bridge my anxiety is through the roof but once I get to the center where I can see both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skyline it is all worth it.