Academics

Adam's Story

Adam Sipe, MA in Education Counseling Applicant

Adam is a recent applicant to the MA in Education Counseling program. Here is a little more about his story:

I was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. My mother, for as long as I can remember, was a habitual addict and drug dealer. When I was twelve, the police stormed our house with guns drawn and arrested my mother. She was sentenced to eight years in prison. I was sentenced to live with my father. My father was and is a good man, but he has an alcohol problem.

At the age of fifteen I made the decision to leave the only family I had left. I moved out of my father’s place and was on my own. I knew that I had to make new friends and a new life for myself. I moved in with my employer, Bobby and his family, who eventually became that new life for me. Their home was a safe place where I could build childhood memories without the distraction of drug addicts, alcoholics and violence.

They pushed me to do well in school and in excel in sports and because of that, I graduated high school with honors and went onto play college athletics and can boast of club involvement on my resume today. I am very lucky to have received the guidance and help that Bobby and his family gave me. They are my family now.

I’ve spent the past year working at a wilderness therapeutic program for teenage boys with substance abuse and behavioral problems in Virginia. Five days a week, twenty-four hours a day, I have been responsible for the well-being of twelve teenage boys. I’ve spent my time looking after them, mentoring them and counseling them through tough times and even tougher decisions. Everyday has been a struggle to find ways to reach these young men and help them realize that they are capable of changing their decision-making processes and their life paths. Ironically, through this experience, I have been reliving childhood pains that I had a hard enough time getting through the first time.

But, this is what makes me a good mentor… a good counselor. I care about every one of these young men and I connect with them. My sordid past helps me relate. It helps me seem real. And, you might be surprised, but, if I could hand-pick any childhood, I probably wouldn’t choose a different one. And, as I find out more about myself and start appreciating the adversity I’ve lived through, I realize that my experiences and struggles have lead me down a specific path. And for that, I am thankful. I can HELP.

I have just applied to the MA in Counseling program at the University of Redlands School of Education. I am going to be a COUNSELOR. I am going to CONNECT with youth like me. I am going to HELP OTHERS.

That is MY STORY. That’s MY REASON. What’s YOURS?


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