Name: Gabriela Garay
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL
Major: Psychology and Latino/a Studies
Other Campus Involvements: African American Studies Scholars Cultural Club (Afro Club for short), Interned at La Casa Culural Latina and continue to stay involved, and currently employed at the Career Center.
About Your CCP Experience: The “CCP experience” is definitely one of the greatest things that happened to me this past year. This group of people has become a really strong and stable community for me, which I think can be hard to find on this campus. The people and the course have really challenged me to become more self-aware as well more aware of others. It hasn’t just allowed me to gain professional/personal skills that I can use anywhere, but has given me a group of people to challenge me as well. In short, it has made me grow as a person…which is one of my core values!
Plans after Graduation: That is a mighty fine question; as I write this, the plan is pretty vague, and I’m okay with that. I will either pursue a master’s degree in something “working with people” related or take a year off and then pursue a master’s degree (maybe a Ph.D.?), but life is always changing. The ultimate goal is to work with marginalized populations at a non-desk job that I enjoy. I have a passion for racial reconciliation/liberation so that will also impact where I end up. Right now, it’s mostly up the air, but I’ll use my passions and interests to guide me.
Name: Michael Luetkens
Hometown: Batavia, IL
Major: Psychology and Communications
Other Campus Involvements: Besides being a member of the Counseling Center Paraprofessional Program I am and active member in the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity on campus and have served on its leadership committee, been a director under the leadership pillar and director of the leadership committee itself. My freshman year I also lived in a living learning community called Intersections. A community devoted to promoting and educating about the diversity of other cultures. I joined a BSU called Salongo as well at PAR which I was lucky enough to hold a position in as their publicity director.
About Your CCP Experience: My CCP experience has been a lot more than I bargained for in all of the best ways possible! I have gotten such valuable exposure to so many different issues on campus and the amazing people and resource centers that work and collaborate to address them. The program is built not like a class, but an experience geared to enhance the skills of its participants and put them to use in ways that are mutually beneficial. I am also very grateful for all the wonderful friends I have made within my cohort that have really become a driving force in my passion for this program and for my future as well!
Plans after Graduation: While I’m still battling the decision of PsyD or PhD I will without a doubt be attending grad school for clinical psychology.
Name: Nicole Robinson
Hometown: Tinley Park, IL
Major: Psychology and Communication
Other Campus Involvements: Besides being a member of the Counseling Center Paraprofessional Program, I have been the Service Coordinator for Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society; served as a Psychology Ambassador; been a member of Psi Chi; and am currently the Human Resources Intern at Campus Recreation.
About Your CCP Experience: Applying to be a part of the CCP Program has been the best decision I have made since coming to UIUC. Not only have I learned tremendous knowledge- and practice-based skills in counseling, I have been able to apply them in class and see myself grow over the course of just this first semester. My favorite part, by far though, has been the interactions with my fellow classmates. Though it seems cliché and over-used, I truly feel like the nineteen other members of my cohort have become my second family. Their differing backgrounds, experiences and perspectives have helped me gained more insight into my beliefs, values and overall being than I could have ever imagined. I cannot wait to see what the future of the CCP Program has in store!
Plans after Graduation: I am graduating this semester and applying to graduate school to receive my Masters in Labor and Employment Relations and pursue a career in Human Resources.
Name: Helena Sumbulla
Hometown: Korçë, Albania and Addison, IL
Major: English and Psychology
Other Campus Involvements: Prison Justice Project, NOW, Sexual Health Peers, English Student Council, I-Connect Facilitator
About Your CCP Experience: Being a part of the CCP community has been one of the most rewarding and transformative experiences I’ve had at UIUC – and I’m only a semester in! I’m very grateful for our instructors and everyone in my cohort who have enabled me to grow through the sharing of individualized perspectives. Being able to catch a glimpse of the world through other people’s eyes, even for a brief moment, is a privilege this course exercises every single day. When I first applied to the program, my reasons included expanding my knowledge of social justice issues in a way that makes a direct impact upon individuals and this class knocks it out of the park. By focusing on inter/intrapersonal skills this first semester, we are prepared to work with different outreach programs in the community the following semesters (and those first semester skills are easily transferrable to just about any field you can think of, because almost every field requires working with others!). I’m excited for what’s to come!
Plans after Graduation: are under construction. Graduate school definitely lies ahead, in a field that will allow me to directly or indirectly advocate for the equitable treatment of all people.
Name: Niki White
Hometown: Wadsworth, Illinois
Major: Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies
Other Campus Involvements: FYCARE Facilitator, Resident Advisor at Bousfield Hall, Psi Chi Member
About Your CCP Experience: Applying to be a CCP was honestly the greatest decision of my college career thus far. I have never worked with such a passionate and driven group of individuals and going to class was the highlight of my week. Not only do I love my cohort, but what I have learned in this program is applicable to various areas of my life. I have gained facilitation and interpersonal communication skills while also gaining confidence in my interactions with my peers. I have always known that I would be a counselor of some sort, and CCP has solidified my decision. I am super excited to have gone through the program and now work as a Paid CCP. I cannot wait to see how the next year as a mentor to current CCPs unfolds :)
Plans after Graduation: After graduation, I hope to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling psychology. Ultimately, I want to work at either a clinic, nonprofit, or at a university counseling center.