I have always had a passion for the psychological world. I never really understood my fascination with it, but it became clear once I worked through my own struggles and the struggles of those who were and are still close to me. I knew I wanted to be a therapist because I wanted to help those who feel helpless. I wanted to be a difference maker in a world that minimizes the severity of mental health because of their lack of perspective and understanding. People deny or simply do not discuss the importance of issues that come from a psychological perspective because they can be scary to talk about and difficult to understand. Mental health often gets swept under the rug or devalued by people who think you just need to toughen up or stop complaining. I was pulled by the need for attention and further acceptance and understanding in this field and felt I had an innate ability to be successful at it. Therapy allows for our true selves to surface in a world that often tells us to go with the norm, hide those feelings nobody wants to hear about, and only look out for yourself. I believe therapy allows for a place of God’s grace. It is a pocket of grace that allows for our true selves to surface without any judgement. It is a place to say “hey I know this is scary and people may not like you for it, but I accept and love you for you anyway”. Therapy is a type of grace that comes from God and when our true selves are accepted and out - we discover all sorts of beautiful things entwined with our darkness. I want to be a therapist that helps each unique individual flourish into the person that God intended them to be. Every person is put on this earth with a purpose and it is our job to seek that purpose and to love and support one another while doing that. In the presence of grace we are given permission to be our fullest selves, and what could be more beautiful than that?
This is what I hope to do during my time in Kenya. I am beyond grateful to be granted the opportunity to study abroad in Africa and begin my journey as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Our team will be leaving on July 6th, and live and work there for three weeks. I personally, will be working at the school for the Chosen Children of Promise. CCP is a school located in the slumps of Kenya where many of the orphans are attending. I will be providing individual therapy for some of the children while also psycho-educating the teachers, social workers, and children themselves. We will be working through different issues that the children will present in therapy and hopefully leave them with helpful coping skills and a sense of hope from people who have had more opportunity and a blessed standard of living. I hope to make a difference in these children and staff members lives in any way I can with my educational background, training and overall love and passion for making others feel understood, accepted, and valued in a world that often falls to the enemy. I also am excited about my opportunity to learn from them and grow in my perspective of a place that is so different from our own world, the only world I have ever really known. This program is an excellent opportunity for me to gain more cultural awareness and experience for my future developing career.
Being 22, a full-time graduate student, working full-time, and living fully independently, means I have a lot of expectations and financial responsibilities with very minimal time. Not only will my team be providing therapy for the citizens of Kenya, but we will also bring resources that are not so easily accessible to them. With all this being said, I am making this account to not only let family and friends know of my trip, but to ask for some assistance. Majority of the trip I have covered, but I am asking for any amount of donation that will make this a little easier on myself. Finances can be such a hindrance and often holds us back from the things we want the most, but I have never been someone to let anything hold me back. If you’re feeling generous or want to make a difference in my life and the lives of those I will come to meet in Kenya, please throw a donation my way. No pressure of course, but if you’re feeling up to it, I know that I will be so appreciative and eternally grateful (and maybe I can bring back a little somethin somethin from a beautiful place most of us will likely never visit). We should never let anything hold us back when we feel God call us and I know God is calling me to the hopeful lives in need in Kenya.