As a local of Eastern, Kentucky, I chose to attend college in order to provide and create more opportunities for my family and community. It was evident that there were many negative presumptions of attending college for someone living low-income and with a disability, but my goal was to change the communities view surrounding the intellectual or occupational competence of a person.
Furthermore, I enrolled in a federally funded program and was accepted into the TRiO program, Upward Bound. This program allows individuals who are first-generation, low-income, or who have a disability to gain access into a college preparation. This service provides one-on-one individual academic planning, mentoring, tutoring, financial support, and many other resources that are necessary. Having a mentor through the SSS program allowed me to build the self-advocacy and self-determination skills needed to fulfill both the occupational and educational goals of being a student. In fact, this program invited me into a home away from home. Without each mentor Chrissy Herren, Sianna Sham, Cassandra Johnson, Valerie Rister, Lydia Wims and Linda Bush for their countless inspiration, motivation, and support I would not be where I am today.
During my first-semester, I was embarrassed to ask for assistance on assignments. In fact, I dodged attending TRiO events because I felt inadequate to those who I perceived to be smarter than me. Little did I know that this would greatly impact and become a disadvantage for my overall undergraduate GPA.
However, after admitting the mistake for not communicating and willingly attending office-hours, the professors guidance was equipped with the skills and strategies necessary to preform above average. Currently, I am enrolled in the Masters of Clinical Mental Health Rehabilitation Counseling Program at the University of Kentucky. After graduating in Fall 2019, it is my goal to be admitted into the Doctoral of Rehabilitation Counseling program to examine the effects that mental health has on minorities who have disabilities.