Tara Fesler is a second year student at Lynchburg College. Dr. Jeanne Booth nominated Tara for her stand out work while at Lynchburg College.
In Tara’s own words:
1. Please state which graduate program and school you are participating in, and why you chose that program/school?
I am in the Master of Education in Counselor Education program at Lynchburg College. I heard wonderful things about the program from past professors and graduate students currently in the program. I thought why not continue my education at my alma mater, and I love Lynchburg!
2. What are some of the difficulties you have faced, and how have you or how are you overcoming these difficulties?
One of the main difficulties I face is understanding that I cannot help every single student. I can do my best to advocate and support as many as I can but at the end of the day I have to tell myself that quality is greater than quantity.
3. Describe the journey that made you pursue counseling as a profession.
I graduated in 2008 from Lynchburg College with a B.A. in Sociology. In the fall of my senior year I was unsure of the career path I wanted to pursue, but I knew I wanted to help people, especially youth. After discussing my passion for helping others, a few people suggested the counseling profession. I took some time researching the different fields of counseling and it all seemed to just fit with what I wanted for my future career. I want to make a difference in the lives of young people and encourage them to do the same for others.
4. What are some of your hopes and concerns for the future as a counselor entering the profession?
One hope is that my character speaks louder than my words. I pride myself on being kind and compassionate to others, so I hope that shows through in my work as a Professional School Counselor and in my daily life. I know there will be many tough days in the profession but my hope is there will be many more rewarding and fulfilling days that outweigh them.
One concern I have is bringing my work home. I tend to place other’s burdens on myself which is unhealthy. I will need to constantly work on balancing work and home life to ensure I am at my best for my students and my family.
5. Describe what your world would be like if you woke up tomorrow and everything is just as you hoped educationally and professionally.
If I woke up tomorrow and everything is just as I hoped educationally and professionally, I would have graduated with my masters and obtained a position as a middle school counselor. I want to work with adolescence because I find it a rewarding challenge. I believe middle school is a tough environment because of the ever changing behaviors and attitudes of the students. In my opinion, it is a crucial period for counselors to engage and support students who are finding their identities in the world.
6. Please describe your top three forms of self-care (does it involved dessert?)
One of my first passions is playing softball. My parents started me on a t-ball team when I was five years old, and I have been playing ever since. Currently, I play during the summer with a co-ed team, and I have recently started teaching my five-year-old niece how to play.
I also enjoy being with my family and friends. Each one of them keeps me grounded and supports me in everything I do.
Another form of self-care I enjoy is crafting. I recently started making different things out of recycled pallets. I love being creative and innovative with not just art but how I engage with students in the counseling profession.
7. Please tell us about research or projects that you have been involved in.
I have done research and plan to continue research on benefits of tactile objects in the counseling environment. A specific interest of mine is the therapeutic value of Play-Doh in counseling and therapy.
8. What else would you like to share?
I would like to thank VASC for this honor. It means a lot to be recognized in a field that I am extremely passionate about. I want to thank my family and friends for their overwhelming support and encouragement. I love you all very much. I would also like to thank my colleagues, my professors, (especially Dr. Booth) and the Lynchburg College community for making my college career a meaningful one!
About Lynchburg College’s Masters in Education Counseling Program:
The Lynchburg College Counselor Education program is proud to be CACREP accredited. The
program offers specializations in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School
Counseling. Graduates of the School Counseling program are employed in school divisions
across the Commonwealth of Virginia and as far away as Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. The
program is also distinguished by the number of graduates who have gone on to leadership
positions in the state’s most prestigious of professional counseling organizations. In recent
years, Lynchburg College Counselor Education alumni have served as President of the Virginia
Counselors Association, the Virginia Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the
Virginia Alliance for School Counseling, the Virginia School Counselor Association, and the
Lynchburg Area Counselors Association.