South Carolina, United States
Hey everyone! I began volunteering with IMAlive after I graduated with my Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Psychology. I’ve always been fascinated by people and I was excited to find a career where I could spend all day trying to figure out what makes people tick…BUT, I struggled to find a job in my field and found myself working in a restaurant to get by. I feared that I would lose the skills and knowledge I just crammed into my head over the past two years (or six if you count the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology). I also began to feel like I was losing my purpose and that my work was not meaningful. IMAlive filled these voids for me. In my spare time, I could connect with people in crisis and feel like I might be making a small difference for someone. It was a win-win. I donated my time and my skills, but I gained a sense of fulfillment. Sure enough, I did finally land a job in mental health as a school-based counselor through my state’s Department of Mental Health, and I feel confident that my crisis intervention experience at IMAlive helped my resume stand out.
These days, I spend most of my time at work, of course, but I also like to stay active by lifting weights and running. Last year I trained for a half-marathon and met my goal of completing it in two and a half hours. I’m already signed up again to participate again this November! Another thing that people may not know about me is that I’m a vegetarian. Though I don’t have very many recipes under my belt, I can make a mean batch of pickles! I’m also a huge UFC and Ronda Rousey fan. I haven’t fully committed yet, but I’m exploring the idea of starting classes at a local Brazilian jiu-jitsu school. The idea of moving out of my comfort zone and trying something new is pretty exciting.
I volunteer mostly on weekend nights since my week days are so jam-packed, but I still make it a priority to give a few hours per week. If you happen to catch me on, most likely my Shih Tzu Snickers is fighting for space on my lap or sitting beside me. Though I’ve been doing this now for two years, I still get the same sense of purpose and meaning each time I sign on. I recommend it to anyone looking to make an impact on someone.