Q & A with Navid Karimi

Student in the School Counseling program 

What inspired you to pursue a degree at The University of Redlands?

As I was entering my last year as an undergraduate at California State University, San Bernardino, I knew that the next step in my educational journey would be to pursue my Master’s degree in School Counseling. I had no idea what university I wanted to pursue my at, but I did know one thing - I wanted to begin the journey at a new university. As I began researching different universities and their programs, I was finally able to narrow my search down to four schools. These four schools were Loyola Marymount University, California State University, San Bernardino, California Baptist University, and University of Redlands. Though I was able to narrow down my search to four schools, it was even harder to choose which school to ultimately attend. After careful consideration, I narrowed down my choice from four schools to two. I talked to some of my high school teachers and school counselors I had interned with and about half said California Baptist University and the other half University of Redlands. I decided to choose the University of Redlands because of the great reputation the program had in school counseling, as well as the positive experience throughout my application process. The individuals who answered all my questions and helped me throughout the process made me confident that I would receive the support and assistance I would need throughout the program.

 

What does educational justice mean to you?

  Growing up, my father would always tell me that education was the key to my future. As every other young kid, playing and hanging out with my peers was the first thing on my mind and the future was the last. As I was progressing through high school my younger sister was also progressing through elementary school. Around this time I began to learn about education in other countries and how certain groups of individuals were restricted from receiving an education. One of the groups not allowed to attend school were girls. This was very shocking to me because both my parents expected all their children, regardless of gender, to pursue higher education and obtain degrees. I was always taught that the best gift you can give an underprivileged individual is education, and finding out that some were denied this opportunity was sobering. I believe it is a basic human right to receive an education, no matter the gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Malcolm X said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. The future belongs to the youth, and if we deny education to certain individuals, we will miss the opportunity to allow some of the smartest and brightest individuals to blossom.

 

What identities have you embraced since you became a student/counselor?

  As I begin to transition from being a student to a school counselor I have embraced the identity of being a leader, which, to me, is a very vital part of being a school counselor. As counselors, we hold a position as someone that can be looked up to and relied upon. This is important in order to help lead students in the correct direction, take charge in organizing and planning programs for students, and standing up for the underrepresented.

 

 

What do diverse perspectives in your field mean to you?

Having a diverse perspective in the field of school counseling means being able to understand and assist individuals who do not have the same beliefs, values, views, and goals as oneself. It means putting one's beliefs, views, and feelings aside and come to understand the experiences other individuals are going through without judgment. In addition, it means empathizing with those who are oppressed or looked down upon. This approach opens one’s views and understanding of others.