Leila Atiyeh

MA Counseling, specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Expected Graduation Date

Spring 2018

What do you hope to do with your degree and why?

I would like to work with clients who struggle with their cultural identity. I would also like to work with clients that have been impacted by war, torture, and other human rights violations. Lastly, I would also like to work with clients who need assistance with forming or enhancing interpersonal relationships.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I heard about SOLES when I was researching graduate programs. The more I learned about SOLES, the more and more I fell in love with it. I was particularly drawn to the student-faculty ratio, the intimate classroom sizes, and the CACREP accreditation (which illustrates the standard of education provided). As I really value those elements in a master’s program, I chose to enroll at USD!

Any outside obligations (family, military, volunteer work, student organizations, etc)?

I co-lead Dr. Estrada’s Positive Psychology Project (PoPP). As part of PoPP, the team and I deliver evidence-based, strength-based interventions to middle school students. I also volunteer at the International Rescue Committee where I mentor teenage refugees and at Survivors of Torture where I provide social support to a torture survivor.

Is there anything specific you would like to share with prospective students?

Buckle your seatbelts and get ready for an enriching, fulfilling, and enjoyable experience! Not only will you learn a great deal from the course work, you will also gain a better understanding of yourself.

Also, what you put into school is what you will get out of school. I recommend getting involved in activities (i.e. research, volunteer activities, school organizations) to enrich your experience.