Yes

HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight: Belgica Crespo

HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight: Belgica Crespo

My name is Belgica Crespo and I am in my second year in the School Counseling program, graduating in May 2020. 

My fieldwork placement is at The O’Farrell Charter High School in Southeast San Diego. The large population of students are LatinX, around 54% of the student body. One of the main reasons I chose this site is because of the student demographics, and how it aligned with the research I am doing about how LatinX students communicate school and college with their families. At O’Farrell, I also work with a diverse range of students of color doing one on one counseling, group work, and guidance lessons. I also meet with any student that walks into the counseling center asking questions about college, financial aid, their grades, classes, or even just about ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. 

I really have enjoyed being at O’Farrell partly because of its strong college readiness component, which I love. I’ve had the opportunity to do parent and student workshops about college and financial aid. In a short amount of time, I have built really good rapport and established relationships with the students I work with and students around campus, as well as school faculty. Collaboration and connection have been two big areas of focus for my time in fieldwork.

I think USD and Project TeamUP group do well in preparing us trainees. I have attended many meaningful workshops, the seminar series, and professional development opportunities that have helped me feel more confident in my skills and applying them in the field. I have really appreciated the small cohort model of my program and I really have learned best with a smaller group. My cohort has a strong bond and I’ve made great connections with others and feel I can reach out to them to consult if I have an issue. The study abroad opportunity was really meaningful to me and exposed me to what counseling looks like in other cultures.  

Through this grant, I’ve had opportunities to learn through the workshops and seminars, and I have also built and presented curriculum for parent workshops at the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) in Spanish. These opportunities to provide services in Spanish have contributed to my learning and effectiveness as a counselor. One workshop was about parenting basics and the other about adolescent self esteem. I think it’s very important to provide workshops for parents in their language. In my experience, Spanish speaking parents have an urge to get informed but don’t always get the opportunity to. The workshops I participated in were successful in informing parents and empowering them to continue the conversation with their children. These opportunities provided a space for parents to ask questions in a safe environment and allowed me to answer questions and also refer and connect parents to more resources. 

Following graduation, I would love to continue working in multicultural communities to advocate for and support their needs. Both working with middle and high school students are of high interest to me, so I am open to where the job market takes me!

Advice to prospective students: I’ve learned to take every opportunity because you never know what door that can open for you!

begin quoteI have attended many meaningful workshops, the seminar series, and professional development opportunities that have helped me feel more confident in my skills and applying them in the field
Headshot of Belgica Crespo

Post Contact

Chris-Marcus Kitchings
ckitchings@sandiego.edu

Contact Information

Connect With Us