For over 15 years, I've had the privilege of working closely with children and families. This journey started at a preschool where I worked as a teacher assistant and quickly gained the reputation of being able to soothe and redirect some of the most "difficult" children. I quickly gained an affinity for the children who would talk back, the ones who didn't want to share, the ones who refused to nap. These quickly became my favorite children, and some things never change.
As a passionate advocate for children's education as well as their mental health, I pursued a PhD in School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While training in middle schools, I quickly discovered that working with preteens and younger adolescents was my calling in life.
As I finished my training at a longstanding parent-child mental health clinic in Maryland, I saw first hand how by strengthening parent-child bonds, even the most severe mental health challenges can be radically transformed.
Photo credit: Chloe Bates