Growing up homeschooled, I hadn’t thought much about college; I had always assumed I would go to school somewhere and probably major in history. By the time I graduated, I was not sure what I wanted to do or how to even apply to college, so I ended up getting a job and working for a few months. With all of my friends in college and me just working, I felt like I was missing out and wanted to go to college, too. So I ended up enrolling at Caldwell Community College with the help of my parents and completing my associate’s degree. I then decided to go on to Appalachian State where I earned my bachelor's in Sociology and Sports Sciences and Coaching. With some much needed help from a great professor, I was able to pursue my master’s degree in school counseling. I chose school counseling because I felt especially called to serve younger people in the school system as it can be a crucial time of challenge and growth for students who might not get help elsewhere.
I was able to do my school counseling internship at Avery High School, and my love for the area grew through my experiences here. As a kid, my dad drove for UPS in Avery, and my mom, siblings and I would go visit him for lunch there, which really opened my own eyes to how beautiful the area is and just how friendly the people can be. I loved the area so much that I began working at Grandfather Mountain while in undergrad at App State. Upon the completion of my internship at Avery County High School, I felt called to stay and keep working in the area.
A job with Appalachian State College Advising Corps was opening, so I took it. My role as a College Adviser has taught me so many valuable skills that I had wished I would have known when I myself was going through college. While I did have some help navigating, I still did not know all of the opportunities that were out there, from scholarships to different colleges and degrees. I kind of had to figure most of it out on my own. I really love this position because I feel like I am able to give students opportunities that I know would have helped me when I was trying to navigate the college-going process. I feel like I am able to help open more doors to students who might not be able to open those doors on their own.