I found the HDFS major through a friend pursuing this degree. She introduced me to the major and since then I was interested in working with children and families. I knew that I wanted to work in the human services field and I liked that HDFS provided a multidisciplinary approach when exploring individual and family development.
My academic experience within CHSS has allowed me to think about the many ways people develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Not only was I able to gain a better understanding of the family science field, but also had the opportunity to apply these concepts into practice when working directly with children and families.
As a first-generation college student, I did not know much about the college experience so I’m proud of myself for completing my degree in three and a half years. I’m also proud of the professional skills that I gained through my experiences as a Peer Advisor, Patriot Leader, Academic Success Coach for the EIP program, and Student Assistant for University Career Services. Also, I presented my own research on the implementation of mindfulness practices in the preschool setting for my final internship presentation.
Each faculty and staff member that I’ve had the opportunity to interact with has had a positive impact on my college experience at Mason.
Dr. Burns was able to support my academic journey by providing me with guidance along the way leading up to my final internship presentation. She was the first person I interacted with when changing my major and I will always remember her willingness to support students. Whether it was sending us email reminders or making time to meet with us individually Dr. Burns was always available to answer any questions, concerns, and/or offer any feedback when needed.
Dr. Vesely’s class on family processes helped me understand diverse family structures and how intersectionality and resilience factors influence family relationships. Also, I was able to learn about culturally competent interventions for families which I plan to incorporate in my work with families. Aside from class, I was able to participate in Dr. Vesely’s research project by helping assist with Spanish interview transcription work which I was thankful to be a part of.
Lastly, I got the chance to co-teacher alongside my faculty, Jhessyka Vargas through my role as a Peer Advisor. She taught me a lot about teaching and classroom management while helping me improve my leadership and public speaking skills. Both of us always had a lot on our plates but still managed to support one another inside and outside the classroom setting. Not only was Jhessyka a faculty member, but an amazing mentor and friend.
Following graduation, I plan to apply to graduate school programs in school counseling. In the future, I hope to become a school counselor where I can create a long-lasting, positive impact on students within the public education system. Lastly, I want to support and collaborate with families in order to help their children achieve success in and outside the classroom.