Speaking on behalf of YWCA Domestic Violence Prevention and their valuable work in schools
NHS Stakeholder Engagement
ACES Wellness Committee Co-Chairs with Dr. Rose Merrell-James
Rachel's Challenge - Senator Regan_edite
PA State Senator Regan supports whole school, whole child initiatives like this one (Rachel's Challenge).
Equity & Access
Northern York County School District's Polar Cares Clothing Closet
Collaborating with our School Resource Office to provide classroom guidance on dating violence
Collaborating with area professionals who provide valuable transition opportunities for high school students
Leadership Definition and Meaning
In order to understand and interpret leadership through my lens, I would like to provide a personal definition and describe what it means to me. It is my understanding that leadership is a dignified way in which an individual leverages human resources to move visions forward purposefully by anchoring on one’s specialized expertise while empowering and inspiring others. In my eyes, a true leader is noble, moral, ethical, and progressive, and leadership is the vehicle for innovation, stability, and growth. This role assumes a higher tier of responsibility because the leader is the location that following eyes return to as a point of reference. Thus, I believe that leadership is about relationships and harnessing the power and synergy contained within them. I like to think of true leadership as a positive, invisible force that unites people to come together and create momentum and strength. Although leadership can be perceived as being a figurehead or nameplate, it is really about working smart and diligently behind-the-scenes to provide a framework, a vision, and support to followers, while removing the barriers that are hindering the realization of goals that require all the gears to move in harmony.
The bedrock of leadership is formed by the values I associate with the construct. It is difficult to splice which values are most important, so I will identify the top three values that are most present for me. The one that stands out the most to me is equity. I believe that equity should be the guiding principle from the leadership, to the program development, to the delivery, to the recipients, and beyond! Another value that I prioritize is collaboration. I wholeheartedly believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Working together as a team through relationships creates a better product, greater commitment, and a more powerful impact. The third value that I would place in my top three would be innovation because I believe that I have strong critical thinking skills that are enhanced by my creativity and are not bound by the status quo. Taken together, equity, collaboration, and innovation would be my top three values that comprise a strong foundation of leadership.
As I continue to expand my understanding of the needs in our profession, I am open to pursuing a variety of opportunities in areas that align with my interests and advocacy efforts that ultimately have a positive impact on others. Whether I am considering our profession as a whole or my role as a single school counselor, I recognize that our work is so much bigger than me. I want to zoom-in and consider the important details of that single client/student or professional, and I want to pair that with zooming-out through the lens of leadership and collaboration to impact change in meaningful, far-reaching ways. At a conference in Washington, D.C., the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, shared that through leadership, he can put his thumb on the scale to tip it and influence change. As a fellow change agent, his inspiring message resonated with me as an innovator, a doer, and an advocate. I strongly desire to expand myself personally and professionally in leadership and not only work together to tip the scales but also take them to new levels.
Cultivating a journey for myself that continues to infuse counselor leadership is very important to me. By taking the aggregate of my career journey thus far and combining it with the incalculable potential of a doctorate degree, I am squarely positioned to bolster my contribution to the counseling profession. I have an interest in equity for diverse and underrepresented populations of people. It is a common thread in my work, and I would therefore like to use this degree to increase the scope of my involvement in this area, whether that be through research/exploration, advocacy, developing programming, providing education, partnering with community resources, or all of the above. Furthermore, I am very interested in advancing the agenda of the professional school counselor. In my experience, support is needed for this integral position within our school systems, such as targeted professional development opportunities, stronger advocacy efforts, and striving for improvement in the resources that are available to us. Lastly, I would be very interested in pursuing more professional development and training as a program supervisor because I see that as being critical to the counseling profession and my role within it.
For those that are able to reach the pinnacle of education through an earned doctorate degree, I believe that they are then charged with a responsibility to return their powerful education back to society in positive ways, and what better discipline to do that with, than counseling.