Taylor Valdivia

MA Marital and Family Therapy


Chula Vista, California

Expected Graduation Date

Summer 2018

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

A childhood dream of mine has always been to give back to a community that has given me so much. San Diego is my home, the culture, the people, the love and the community that makes this city extraordinary...are all reasons why I fall in love with it more each and every day. After graduation, I hope to become a licensed Marital and Family Therapist who works in a Community Based Organization with at risk youth and their families. 

I believe today’s youth are such a powerful force to be reckoned with. The children of today are our future. I, for one, hope to help them by providing them the resources, support and all that they need to make for a better tomorrow. The younger generations are the most resilient. They are able to bounce back farther and stronger from adversity than any other generation; doing so with excitement and power. I hope to provide the youth with opportunities, guidance, and support that they would not have access, knowledge or motivation to seek out. I hope to rewrite the story of the preschool to prison pipeline. I hope to do so, by giving resources, opportunities and hope to these youth who can find the strength and empowerment within to seek out the bright future ahead of them. I may not be able to change the world, but if I can provide the support, help, and opportunities to even one person, I can change their world. Hope is a powerful concept. I hope for a bright future for myself and the greater San Diego community. Being in the MFT program at SOLES, I am beginning to see my biggest hopes transform from dreams into reality.

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

As a native San Diegan, I heard rave reviews about attending graduate school at the University of San Diego. I had an ‘aha’ moment in my undergraduate career, knowing the Marital and Family Therapy was the right career path for me to pursue. I did my research looking into different schools and programs and after conducting research about SOLES, I knew it was a place I could call home for the next two years of my life. The mission statement and commitment to diversity, multiculturalism and community outreach were major highlights that drew me in to apply to the Marital and Family Therapy program. In addition to conducting research of my own, I also attended SOLES open house which housed prospective students to learn more about SOLES, the program in which they are looking to apply to and meet and greet with current students, staff, and faculty! This event was very helpful to get a little glimpse of what my next two years can have in store for me. The atmosphere, people, community and excellence of the program were all key factors in me proceeding to enroll in the MFT program at SOLES.

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

I currently work part-time at the San Diego District Attorney’s office. I am also the SOLES Graduate Student Association Marital and Family Therapy and Counseling Representative and a SOLES Student Ambassador. I am also a daughter, a sister, a family member and a friend. If my higher education has taught me a valuable life lesson, it would be time management. Learning how to plan accordingly to schedules, being okay with flexibility and knowing my limits, priorities and the well-being of myself all come with the territory. 

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

Applying to and choosing a graduate school is a beast of a task. But when you are able to find the right one, where passion and learning come together, it is something quite beautiful. When choosing a graduate program, choose one that will make you the best you that you can be. Inquire, be curious, ask questions and get excited! This is one of the most stressful yet exciting times in your personal and professional development. Breathe, take it all in, because the next step you take will be the one that takes you on a journey that will change your life for the better...forever. The Marital and Family Therapy program at SOLES was one of the best decisions that I made in choosing the future for my higher education. I could not be more thankful and ecstatic to be a part of a program, school, and university that is fostering an environment where my dreams are coming true!