Once I’ve completed my degree, I hope to be a mental health counselor whose focus is to counsel children, adolescents, and young adults who have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives. I’ve looked at working in juvenile detention centers, but my ultimate goal is to work in private practice. Although juvenile detention centers have sparked my interest, I love the idea of working one on one with my client so that my focus can be solely on them and how to best help them. I believe that an individual’s mental well-being is very important to their development, especially at such a young age, and should be valued highly. One factor that played a role in my professional goal was my own experience with counseling when I was in middle school. My own traumatic experience made me realize that I was not capable of coping with the trauma by myself so I turned to professional help. I admired the fact that somebody who didn’t know me from anything cared for my well-being and worked so hard to help me cope with my trauma and improve my mental health. Before my own experience with counseling, I had never heard of the profession, so I never knew what to expect. It changed my perspective on what type of career paths the world had to offer, specifically in human resources. It’s not uncommon for someone who has experienced their own type of mental health issues to want to follow this career path. I think to some extent it makes us stronger as counselors (or future counselors) because we understand the importance and necessity of this field. Another factor that played a role in my professional goal was seeing how many people I knew in my life who experience mental illness and trauma. It made me realize that mental illness isn’t rare. It’s everywhere and it’s not going to be obsolete anytime soon. Mental healthcare is just as important as physical healthcare and I want to be a part of a field that works toward benefiting people’s well-being. The final factor that played a role in my professional goal was that I love trying to figure out what makes people “tick”. It fascinates me that we all have a brain and nerves, but that not everybody is “wired” the same way. The human mind is a beautiful, scary, and interesting place and I want to learn more and understand this subject more. I’m very excited to begin this degree and I look forward to learning more about the profession the longer I’m in it!