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?

Quiet the Mind
meditation room

The University’s Meditation Room opened in 2007 and is one of the first “contemplative classroom” spaces in the country.

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