In 2019, I decided to take the plunge and enroll at MSU Billings in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling graduate program. Going back to school at age 45 was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a non-traditional student, I knew I would need financial assistance to help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed counselor. Being awarded the John Self Rehabilitation Counseling Endowed Scholarship not only helped me financially but gave me the confidence that someone saw potential in me.
I have seen firsthand how mental health affects us directly or indirectly throughout my personal and professional life. Many people struggle internally with mental health issues that often go unnoticed, so I wanted to do my part to bring awareness to the issue and help those in need. To be a champion and a voice for those navigating mental health issues is a calling I found later in life. MSU Billings and the professors in the graduate program have not only taught me more than I could have ever imagined, but they have also served as mentors and role models.
The John Self Rehabilitation Counseling Endowed Scholarship has pushed me to represent myself, MSU Billings, and the memory of Dr. Self in the best way I know how and that is to help those struggling with mental health problems.
No matter your age, do not be afraid to pursue your dreams. I am beyond grateful and appreciative to receive this gift. I hope that anyone who chooses this graduate program will be afforded the same generosity and support as this scholarship.