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Past, Present, Future

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Past, Present, Future

Five years ago I never dreamed that I would be finishing my bachelor degree and pursuing a doctorate program. Enrolling at University of Phoenix has changed my life both professionally and personally for the better. The Human Services program has helped me to mature emotionally and recognize my strengths. I have always had a passion for learning and helping others, and now I have the opportunity to turn the passion into action. Throughout this story I will share with you some personal and professional life experiences that have enhanced my educational, emotional and spiritual growth.

Five years ago I began contemplating returning to school. I was working for a Catholic church at the time and had no place I could advance to professionally. My marriage was on the rocks and I was trying to figure out how I could provide for myself and my children financially. I had wondered if I had the time to return to school and work. After weighing my options without a degree and dreaming of what type of job I could have if I had completed my education I decided to go in and talk to a University of Phoenix counselor.

When arriving at my meeting with the counselor I thought I knew which direction I wanted to go with my career. I have always been very computer and business savvy, so it only made sense that I pursue a business degree. After talking to the counselor she asked me to write down why I wanted to return to school and what my future plans were. I realized that I did not have future plans with a business degree but I did know that I wanted to be the type of person that made a difference in the lives of others.

I went home knowing that my desire to return to school could be a reality but still unsure which path I should take. I spent the next six months thinking about what I want to do with my life. During this time I reflected on how I have lived my life until this point. I had spent some time working as a sales person and working for the Franchise Tax board. I can recall going to work and feeling unsatisfied. Then I began thinking about my current job at the church and realizing that I loved working there especially when I had the opportunity to help people find services. After that realization I started making a list of all events in my life. Some were good some were bad, but in all instances I had come away a better person. It was at that point I found that I have a natural gift for helping others.

Prior to entering in the human services program I felt that I had some useful skills, such as communication, empathy, and experience. I have a sister who is one year younger than I am, and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at the age of 12. Being so close in age we had a special bond and shared our thoughts and feelings with one another. I experienced my sister's disease with her, and became familiar with mental health institutions as she was admitted to them several times. I would read books on her disease and try to help her find ways to live a healthy happy life. This experience gave me a strong relationship with my sister and an intimate experience with bi-polar disorder. I admire how my sister has dealt with her disorder by means of medication, meditation, support, and exercise. She is a positive example to all those living with a mental health disorder and has influenced me to share some of her strategies with others.

This was one of the reasons I chose to get a degree in human services. I envisioned a future in working with mental health patients. During my study at University of Phoenix I entered a field experience with Sierra Vista Hospital. This experience showed me what it was like to be behind the scenes in an inpatient facility. It was unenjoyable and disappointing. The hospital was run ineffectively, and the social workers seem to have lost hope for the patients. This short term care consisted of prescribing medication and finding new placement for the patients. I found that I wanted to see results in patients; therefore



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