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HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight

HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight

My name is Amanda Gunn and I am in my second year in the School Counseling program, on the 63 credit track. I graduate in 2021 and will have my PPS credential and eligibility to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

My fieldwork placement is at the Juvenile Community Court Schools (JCCS) in East County. The largest demographic are Middle Eastern, followed by LatinX, Black, then White students. I mostly work with male students, and recently more female students enrolled. I go into classes and assist with class and behavior management, as well as conflict resolution. Students also come to me for help with their course work. Most of our students’ goal is to return to their district school, so a lot of the work I do centers around working with students to build and practice skills like appropriate communication, and setting and respecting boundaries. I do group and individual counseling, and recently facilitated a group focused on boundaries and creating a respectful environment. With the students, it was rewarding to explore who they respect, what positive qualities they respect about others, and how they can gain those qualities themselves.

In terms of my training, I feel like the professional development events through HRSA and SOLES have helped me grow a lot. I really enjoyed the Provider Bias workshop with Dr. Cameron, through the grant. From fieldwork I have gained a new understanding of how different schools can work and look. Knowing I would be at JCCS I had expectations, but it has been very different than what I thought in terms of how classes work and how students are grouped together. It has been very eye opening to see how classroom dynamics play out and how to handle power struggles. I feel very supported by the principal at my fieldwork, especially with student behavior. My supervisor is very supportive and willing to let me take the lead. One way I feel training could be improved in our program is better preparing students working with “non-traditional” high school students and alternative settings.

Receiving the HRSA grant has allowed me to take a break from working this year and have the time to focus on my fieldwork. I have the time and space to figure out what exactly I want to do working with these populations. I have less stress and a better ability to remember why I chose this site and work in the first place. My plans post graduation are to hopefully have a full time job! I would prefer the job to be working with low income students of color and underrepresented groups. I am open to working at a court school and am even open to a community college!

begin quoteReceiving the HRSA grant has allowed me to fully dedicate my time and effort to my practicum site. It has given me freedom from needing a job outside of my practicum.
USD student Amanda Gunn

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Chris-Marcus Kitchings
ckitchings@sandiego.edu

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