Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Being from California, people always asked me, ”Why Arkansas?” At the beginning of my experience at JBU, I didn’t have an answer, since I didn’t know myself. Six years later, after earning a BSE in math education and being currently enrolled as a Graduate Counseling student at JBU, I can honestly say that it has been in God’s plan all along. Although I did not understand at the time, I can see why my mentor would constantly remind me of Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” As I continue this journey at JBU, I have been able to see God’s hand at work in my life as He molds me and guides me to become the person He has planned me to be. Now, I’m a step closer from becoming a school guidance counselor working with kids on their academic, personal, and social development.

JBU has been a home away from home. Not only has it been a place to grow academically, but most importantly, it has been a place to build long-lasting relationships. I believe that "home" means being surrounded by those who love you, and the people here at JBU have become a part of my family. At no other university can someone say that they regularly bump into their professor at Walmart, are welcomed into their home to have some sweet fellowship with other grad students or, as my friend Cody would tell you, meet individually with a professor to discuss post-grad work at a Cabellas. Nowhere… just JBU!

What captured me the most about JBU’s Grad Counseling program was their extensive training. I am a visual/hands-on/observer/show-me-how-you-do-it type of learner and the professors at JBU definitely take the time and effort to make learning easy and enjoyable. One thing that makes JBU unique from other universities is their head, heart, and hand model. JBU not only focuses on the academic (head) and ministry (heart), but most importantly, the Graduate Counseling program emphasizes practical, hands-on service and application. 

Not only do we learn various theories and techniques, we get to practice, practice, practice with real clients who are dealing with real problems. Interning at the CARE Clinic has been an excellent learning environment since there is an on-site licensed counselor who provides great feedback and suggestions. At first, I was very hesitant about working with adults – especially couples; I only wanted to work with children and adolescents. Fortunately, after some words of wisdom and A LOT of encouragement from our site-licensed counselor, Kristen, I got the courage to see adults and couples, which I now love working with. Kristen said, “Before you say you don’t want to work with this particular population, give them a shot. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain experience with a different group, Willito!” This journey continues to teach me new things and I can’t wait to see where God leads me next!

If I had the opportunity to go back and do it all over again…I would still choose JBU! Now, when someone asks me, “Why Arkansas?”  I can honestly say, “Well, why not?!”

Will Rivas

Will Rivas
JBU School Counseling student/CARE Clinic intern

Blog HomePosted By: Will Rivas - 10/23/13 1:32 PM

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