One of my examples of a significant life changing experience would center around my early college years as a counselor intern for the Wayne State University Rosa Parks/M.L. King/Cesar Chavez College Day program in Detroit, MI. I worked as an intern with students in the middle to high school inner city where there was the most at-risk need to promote the importance of education and administer training sessions on self esteem, life skills, career options and most importantly plant the seed of encouragement that students can achieve despite their circumstances and to visualize attainment of a college degree while giving them step by step practical tools. Our counselor supervisor enrolled all the counselors and interns in a program called Efficacy Detroit which is now named the “Efficacy Institute” at http://www.efficacy.org . Along with learning about the Efficacy materials as a group, we all attended the weeklong eight hour workshop at Mary Grove College. As an ethnically diverse group made up of teachers, counselors, business professionals , ministers, holistic health practitioners and volunteers along with a trained psychologist we purged many misconceptions we had about each other’s background, race and most importantly perceptions about urban underserved youth within the city. This approach was taken as a way to not transfer any of our negative perceptions onto children who were already combating tough situations in school and at home.
Sometimes significant change can happen over years and sometimes at the right moment and in a brief period of time where you can see yourself and others more clearly than you had before. This one week we hold in confidentiality that shed tears, pain, empathy, encouragement and joy of self actualization. I suppose these days it would be called intensive group therapy as the facilitator adapted the program to meet the topics and needs of the community. When the training was over, we all held workshops at public schools feeling more equipped mentally and spiritually to interact with students and make the best impact possible on their lives.
I faced life with better answers, greater confidence and more inner peace.
Let Your Inner Voice Rise-
Gloria J Bailey