JoJo Yan Ki Lee
M.A. in Counseling, specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. When I was 11 years old, my family moved to Mainland China because of their business. After spending five years in Guang Zhou my parents decided to move to California for better business opportunities. I stayed in Los Angeles for high school and moved down to San Diego for undergraduate study at UCSD. After earning my bachelor degree I decided to study abroad in the UK to earn my first master's degree in Clinical & Abnormal Psychology. Throughout my academic study I have been consistently working as a research assistant in different organizations including San Diego autistic research center, the UCSD psychiatry department and USD.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
After earning my license in clinical counseling I would like to work in a clinical setting that allows me to serve the minorities in the US and promote mental health help-seeking behavior among underserved populations. My sub-specialty is working with Asian populations, especially with immigrant families. I am hoping to use my skills to help these individuals overcome their transition difficulties as well as their personal conflicts.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
One of my high school friends is a MFT student at SOLES and he recommended that I apply. I immediately fell in love in USD after the interview. The faculty members seemed very supportive and friendly. The values and international requirement of SOLES attracted me so much that I knew this would be a best fit for me.
How are you involved at SOLES outside of class?
Currently, I am involved in mentorship programs and have become a mentor of two first year CMHC students at SOLES. I recently met with one of my mentees. I was able to share my personal experiences about the program and recommend some tips and resources for her. She said it was very helpful to have this mentorship experience with a second year student. We were able to go through some of the issues that she had in regard to the coursework. I personally also learn a lot from my mentee by listening her opinions about the program. It helps me to reflect on myself and motivates me to improve.
Tell us about any research you have done at SOLES.
I am currently very active in doing research with Dr. Ronn Johnson and attending different conferences. Over the past year I represented USD in attending three national and two international conferences. Most of the research topics are related to traumatized populations. I am now working with Dr. Johnson on a manuscript about help-seeking behavior in traumatized Asian populations and its clinical implications in assessment and diagnosis.
Have you completed an international experience?
I am going to Bahamas for my family counseling class this semester. Prior to this class I attended the Tijuana day trip. It was an eye-opening experience to see students and interview the teachers and principles in Tijuana. The limited school facilities and resources reminded me about the privileges that I have here at SOLES.
How has your SOLES education impacted your career goals?
I never saw myself becoming an active presenter at national conferences or establishing a graduate student organization when I first came to SOLES. Now I am building my leadership skills and reputation through extra activities at SOLES.
Which class has impacted you the most?
I would say the Law and Ethics class impacted me the most. It totally opened my mind about issues faced by helping professionals. It is not only about helping people, but also protecting ourselves. There are so many other rules and laws that counselors need to follow and be aware of when we are in an ethical dilemma. Those rules and codes allow counselors to work closely with clients without burning ourselves.
Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success?
Dr. Ronn Johnson is definitely my golden star at SOLES. He is my academic advisor and is constantly very supportive and open to me. He provides many opportunities for me to improve myself professionally.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I am planning to move back to Hong Kong and work as a clinical counselor. My dream job is having my private practice and helping children and their parents with psychological difficulties.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
USD is an institute that provides you with rich resources and opportunities that you will not experiences in many other universities. USD provides a stage for you, and they guide you to dance and sing on the stage.