Doing what I love to do, doing what I am good at, and succeeding in the career; it would be a successful life to me. Like many other college students and graduates, I struggled several years of twenties to find out what I want to do, what I can do, and what I should do for my life. Entering University of California, Davis as undecided major, I could say my undergraduate years were just a journey to find my future career and major. I have first started with many science courses, planning that I would focus in one of the science major as my parents wished. However, after few quarters taking science classes, I realized that I was not a scientist. I barely passed few science courses and started to question to myself what I truly want to study for.
My interest in human’s behavior has grown due to my family situation. In 2009, my family has found out that my younger brother, a 13 years old boy, has intensive ADHD and marijuana addiction. In addition, my grandmother has been struggling from Alzheimer. Since my parents and I had no previous knowledge of these mental disorders, we had hard time dealing with my grandmother’s and my brother’s behavior. As I started to question about what instigate one’s abnormal behaviors or tantrum and how they can acquire a right behavior, I took several psychology classes and realized that I want to study more in this field.
In 2010, I was asked to volunteer in an organization called Milal for disabled children through my church member. And that was my first experience with Autism kids. Even though my intention at first was to get myself busy even during the weekends and had very little heart in “buddies” (the organization called the autism kids “buddy”), after few month later, I finally was able to discover that this is what I want to do for my career. I was stunned to see my buddy’s improvement in his behavior and with his life style. I have witnessed many miracles over the two years. My buddy who was not able to speak started to communicate with his family. He mastered his potty-train. And his tantrums conspicuously got decreased. I resolved to work for these people with mental disorders and live in the world of miracles.
After finishing my college in March 2014, I started to work as a behavior therapist at a company called CARE AUTISM. Being in a professional field for few months has taught me that I need future education to reach my career goal as an ABA consultant. I have understood that I can work with more people with Autism and use my ability and passion to them only after pursuing a master’s degree with a BCBA certification. I also have realized that I need a better knowledge specifically in applied behavior analysis to provide the best service as a professional and help the autism kids make greater progress.
I believe the M.S. program in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology is the great program for me. The program not only gives literal education on scientific ABA systems, also provides a great experience in a wide variety of ABA application through practicum. Future more, since one of my goals is to get a BCBA certification, the ABA program at the Chicago School will assist in reaching my career goals.
Lastly, it is very important for me to study at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, understanding of diversity, and competence. Grown in a Korean community, I have witnessed very closely how my parents with short English had difficulties getting the services or help for my younger brother with his ADHD. I also heard many complaints from the parents of Milal that there are not many Korean ABA services. When children receive services in English and, but parents uses different language than English, the ABA service given to the family will not be as efficient as it should be. As a bilingual and a one who understands both Korean and American culture, after pursuing a BCBA certification, I would love to work for the minority families and help them to get an enhanced ABA services.