My name is Latisha Sterling, and I’m an alumnus of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. I attained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from the College, and I’m currently keenly looking for an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills gained in addressing some of our nation’s most pressing Psychology related challenges. Besides, I have been trained and hold certifications in various related areas. These include Paraprofessional Training, Child Abuse Identification and Reporting, School Violence Prevention and Intervention, Cardiopulmonary R esuscitation ( CPR), First Aid and Teaching Assistant, Level 1. Other notable skills include proficiency in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint). I believe that when combined, these skills fully support my quest.
Currently, I am a Substitute Paraprofessional with the New York City Department of Education in Brooklyn working in a middle school. This role entails informing parents, teachers and school management about the progress and behaviour of children on a regular basis. Likewise, it involves supporting teachers in controlling behaviour and emotional occurrences as well as monitoring disruptive behaviour among children during classes. Further, I reinforce learning of material and skills initially introduced by teachers amongst individual students or groups of students. However, for students who require special attention, I emphasize one-on-one interaction. Overall, however, I assist the teachers with large groups of children with learning or physical disabilities. This role has significantly enhanced my professional development since every day I learn about the fascinating and different ways through which individual children learn. Further, with patience and willingness I am in a position to motivate them to learn various subjects . Previously, I have worked as a bus attendant for Reliant Transportation Inc in Brooklyn. This position required me to help students with disabilities to get on and off the bus with particular attention to their individual needs. Secondly, I was expected to adapt to each student’s medical, physical, communicative and emotional needs. Ultimately I was supposed to manage the children’s behaviour on a daily basis. I have also interned for Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey Inc. During the short stint, I helped adults with disabilities and other challenges that may have prevented them from finding employment. I assisted with basic literacy, organizational skills, and knowledge of what to expect in the workplace. Additionally, I prepared classroom guidance units appropriate to the needs and developmental levels of students. I also monitored student’s progress while providing supportive and efficient consultation to the students. That notwithstanding, I worked for Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn as a patient care volunteer and at Coney Island Hospital Center as a clerical worker-volunteer. My engagement in various positions and different sectors has significantly enhanced my personal as well as professional growth.
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The attainment of a Bachelor of Science degree was the first achievement in pursuit of my goals . This is because it pushed me to make personal sacrifices and tough decisions, being a young mother. These feats also taught me compassion and open-mindedness. It is these unique personal attributes and skills that make me a valuable member in the workplace and at the community level. Studying psychology, especially social psychology opened my eyes and instilled in me an eagerness to learn more. While my knowledge of human behaviour has been significantly broadened , and my understanding deepened, my curiosity is yet to be satisfied. This is because there still exists a lot to learn about people, especially in the area of mental disorders. In this regard, my plan is to obtain a Master’s degree in Psychology. This will give me an opportunity to pursue a career in mental health counselling. It will also challenge my emotional and intellectual growth, and enhance my skills to help affected people to live fulfilling and happier lives. Due to past work experience, I have learnt to be professional, socially oriented and perceptive, and an active listener. Further, I have strengthened my communication and people skills. Due to the increasing cases of mental health in the U.S, your organization will greatly prepare me to be a competent mental health practitioner. It will also prepare me for my plan of attaining a doctorate . Therefore in the future, I see myself as a leading authority on mental health, with my psychology practice.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that is common and is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity (Greenberg et al., 2014; Yaffe et al ., 2010). There is growing evidence that PTSD may cause impairment of cognitive performance, and that senior citizens with PTSD have accelerated rates of decline in cognitive performance. The symptoms of PTSD continue till late in an individual’s life and are accompanied by changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. These occurrences may be related to dementia, which is associated with a reduction in memory and other skills necessary for thinking. This decline may cause enough severity to reduce an individual’s ability to undertake everyday activities (Yaffe et al. , 2010). Post-traumatic stress disorder is closely associated with dementia although it has not been determined to date whether PTSD independently increases the rate of developing dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases of dementia. Stress is a key driver of the three conditions. The position will, therefore, entail me caring for patients with these ailments . Given the sensitivity of the conditions, the post will require me to have stamina, to be resilient and good at solving problems. In this regard, I will be needed to be fit both physically and emotionally. This is not only for my sake but the benefit of the patients. In my quest to support the patients I expect support both emotionally and physically from the workplace. Likewise, for me to be effective, provision of all the necessary tools is vital. In this regard, a positive, people-centered environment is needed . This is because it will substantially fan my goals and ambitions while ensuring that I am competent in my tasks. However, owing to my experience in giving care to students and patients, I am fully ready for the task. On the other hand, having witnessed cases of mental health in my mother and sister, I am better placed to relate to the patients as I understand the frustrations and challenges that such patients experience . Furthermore, my curiosity and plans of becoming a mental health practitioner will come in handy.
Given that the position in line with my plans and will prepare me for my future role as a mental health practitioner, I feel that the interview went well since I was able to articulate this. I, therefore, look forward to a favourable response regarding the position. Lastly, if offered the position, I will accept without hesitation.
Greenberg, M., Tanev, K., Marin, M. & Pitman, R. (2014). Stress, PTSD, and dementia. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 10, p. S155 – S165.
Yaffe, K., Vittinghoff, K., Lindquist, K., Barnes, D., Covinsky, K., Neylan, T., … Marmar, C. (2010). Post-traumatic stress disorder and risk of dementia among U.S. Veterans. Arch Gen Psychiatry , 67(6), p. 608 - 613. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.61.