Personal Statement 1
Running head: PERSONAL STATEMENT
General Advanced Psychology
Professor Mary Viventi
January 16, 2010
Over the past three years, I have had an opportunity to work with troubled teens through
a volunteer program associated with Hybrid Results Charities, a non-profit organization that I
work with. My passionate desire to help children and my vocation in the field of psychology
made for an easy transition into the program. Therefore, pursuing a career in mental health
counseling seems only logical.
After receiving a 3.98 GPA in my undergraduate degree of psychology at Argosy
University, I feel I am prepared for the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program.
Throughout my undergraduate career I had the good fortune of learning from several Professors
working in the field of mental health. With the knowledge gained from courses in forensic
psychology, substance abuse in the criminal justice system, crimes and causes, psychology and
criminal justice, children and violence, and psychological assessment the choice to continue my
education was an easy decision. I have always been interested in gaining a better understanding
of mental illness and its causes.
A need for understanding mental illness provided several topics to research in my
research methods class. I chose to write a research paper on physical activity and its affect on
depression and suicide ideation in adolescents. Dr. Tom Russo was impressed by my work and
appreciated all the effort that had been put into this study. Similarly, my psychological
assessment professor, Dr. Jeanne Henry, offered to write a letter of recommendation for my
master’s program after I earned a 100 percent in the course. In my final undergraduate course,
general advanced psychology, I chose to do a literature review on whose responsibility is it to
ensure the academic success of student athletes. I find this topic interesting because I believe
young people involved in athletics need to understand the importance of getting an education and
that educators have a responsibility to ensure that the students are giving the opportunity.
In all honesty, my personal development has provided a stronger foundation in preparing
for my master’s program than has my professional development. Positions held prior to my work
with Hybrid Results Charities, were customer service oriented. Although they do not directly
deal with counseling and mental health, the jobs gave me an opportunity to be around people,
assist them with their problems and ensure they were satisfied in the end. The prior jobs helped
me to understand my own mental health capacity, how to become an active listener and work
through a variety of problems. I began with Hybrid Results Charities in its early stages, helping
to feed the homeless and providing business consulting to startup programs made available
through Hybrid Results. Over the past three years, I have come to realize that for me to make a
difference in my community and the world requires additional education and training in the area
of mental health and counseling. I believe with the knowledge gained at the undergraduate level;
the direction and training received at the master’s level will give me the tools needed to succeed.
In addition, during my master’s program, I would like to research to what extent an
individual’s innate altruistic behavior is altered by their socioeconomic status. I find it interesting
how some people are willing to give when they themselves live without, and others have the
means but refuse to help. Little research has been done on this topic, and I believe it would make
for an interesting thesis.
After completing my master’s degree I want to continue to work with non-profit
organizations offering my counseling services to children, youth and teens that may suffer from
emotional disorders, substance abuse and addiction, suicidal thoughts, education concerns and
family problems. I would also like to continue research and development in finding a way to
lower or eliminate the recidivism rate of juvenile offenders.
By having an opportunity to obtain a Masters of Arts in Forensic Psychology from a
prestigious college such as Argosy University, there are no limits as to how far this degree can
take me and how many lives can be touched. I began my undergraduate program at Argosy right
after being diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. The program gave me the strength to beat cancer
and I know the master’s program will give me the strength to help children, youth and teens beat
mental illness. Thank you for your time.