Here are some bios, and impressions of the program from some of the current CCPs.
Name: Chris Bell
Hometown: Champaign, IL
Other Campus Activities: Block I
About Your CCP Experience: Overall, I would have to rate my experience with CCP thus far as terrible. Allow me to explain. Becoming involved with CCP was a terribly droll time which included playing with balloons, laughing and cooperating with my peers as we designed a future (but fictional) stress-free hangout center for campus, describing (in a “formal” interview) that if I could be any animal it would have to be a Bear and then justifying that answer, as well as getting along with my interviewers (and not having to fake it). Then after being accepted as a CCP, the terrible time came of bonding and creating an amazingly positive environment with my fellow CCPs. Along with becoming great friends with my cohort, I also had the task of expanding my knowledge and passion in fields such as interpersonal communication, diversity, presentation skills, listening skills, and many more things I have always been intrigued and fascinated by; just terrible. Now I face becoming more involved with diverse and dedicated groups on campus, stunning the audience in the upcoming “Snooze or Loose: building a better relationship with your bed” Tuesday at 7 with my terribly terrific partner Lauren (yeah that was a double shout out).
Basically CCP is just terrible, as in terribly fun/exciting/challenging/ rewarding and also terrible at being terrible.
Plans after Graduation: I see three paths for me at the current time. Path one leads down a long road towards a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical work, specializing with veterans, which promises a rich and rewarding career. Path two leads towards law school and many smaller routes from there depending on my focus, all of which promise long nights (at the office). Path three, brought to me by Cops and Campus P.D., leads me to a police academy and finally being able to help the community in a direct way as a law enforcement agent. Whatever road I end up wandering down, I know that I will be extremely satisfied since I will be able to provide my services for those in need.
Name: Charlene Dudley
Hometown: Dundee, IL
Other Campus Activities: Stratford House, Office Assistant at the Center for Global Studies, TAG, Illinois Promise, The Navigators, UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship
About Your CCP Experience: CCP has been a completely different experience than I expected. It has brought me close to 19 other students who I have otherwise might not have ever gotten a chance to know. CCP has allow me become more understanding of others and my own differences. The opportunity to listen to other peoples’ stories has been amazing. Most importantly, the microskills I have learned in CCP will allow me to help others.
Plans after Graduation: My plans after graduation are still unknown. Most likely my plans will involve graduate school with a specialty in Christian Counseling. Other potential opportunities I have thought of are pursuing international mediation. I’m always on the lookout for opportunities and options.
Name: Annette Gorzelany
Hometown: Wheeling, IL
Major: Psychology and Communication
Other Campus Activities: In addition to my involvement in the Counseling Center Paraprofessional program, I am also involved in Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.
About Your CCP Experience: I have grown tremendously since I joined the program. In addition to the many new skills that I have attained thus far, I have formed strong friendships with my peers. CCP has exposed me to a variety of new learning experiences as well as to a plethora of unique opportunities.
Plans after Graduation: Following graduation, I plan to pursue a career in Human Resources.
Name: Alexa Keramidas
Major: Psychology and Communication
About Your CCP Experience: I feel so lucky to have been accepted to the CCP program! It is an opportunity to meet friends I never would have met otherwise on such a big campus. Class is never boring, and I am so glad to be learning skills that I will use in my future job!
Plans after Graduation: After I graduate I plan to go on to graduate school to become a licensed counselor for teens and adults. I have no idea where I’ll end up, but I would love to live in Chicago so I can be close to my family and enjoy my favorite city.
Name: Matt King
Hometown: New Lenox, IL
Other Campus Activities: Lab Manager at the Beckman Institute, Psi Chi Executive Board, Community Elements Crisis Line, SOAR After School Tutoring, State Farm Center Gate Worker
About Your CCP Experience: The CCP program has allowed me to recognize, develop, and explore what it means to be a peer helper. In addition to the new friendships and unique classroom experience I have encountered thus far, CCP has truly guided me in the direction I am headed after graduation. I have yet to find another class/program that provides the opportunity to apply the skills and techniques that we have developed thus far in such a hands-on and practical manner. I can’t wait to meet the next class of CCP’s!
Plans after Graduation: I would like to earn a master’s degree in either school social work, school guidance counseling, or, potentially, work towards a doctorate’s in school psychology.
Name: Jacqueline Klossing
Hometown: Reynolds, IL
Other Campus Activities: Alpha Phi Omega, Center for Parent-Child Studies Lab, Girls Advocacy Project, NAMI at UIUC, Psi Chi
About Your CCP Experience:
CCP has been a completely irreplaceable experience that has allowed me to develop a strong foundation of skills to use in all aspects of life. It has helped me to identify personal strengths and expand them to help others while making me comfortable enough to acknowledge that while we will not always get things right, that is how we learn. I truly value the support unit we have within the program as well. We are all wonderfully different from each other, yet we all care about people and the human condition and understand the strength in imperfection; I cannot emphasize how grateful I am to learn in such an environment. It makes the exploration of the skills and who we are as helpers and communicators and facilitators so much more positive and exciting!
Plans after Graduation: I hope to pursue a graduate degree of either a Psy.D. in clinical psychology or a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Either way, I will study with an academic emphasis on children and adolescents. I love using the skills to navigate communication in a positive, effective way, and I hope I can use these skills while working with kids as they always make me smile and want to work harder. Ultimately, my career goal is to be a practicing psychologist who has enough flexibility to do some additional non-profit work that aims to support mental health awareness.
Name: Yarah Kudaimi
Hometown: South Holland, IL
Other Campus Activities: Psi Chi, Undergraduate Psychology Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, McKinley Health Center Stress Management Peers, Illini Emergency Medical Services, Muslim Student Association, Arab Student Association.
About Your CCP Experience: CCP has been nothing short of amazing so far. It’s only been a semester and I feel I’m already equipped with so many practical skills to utilize while interacting with just about anyone. I always look forward to going to class and can’t wait to experience what the upcoming year has in store. I miss all my peers!
Plans after Graduation: This question always makes me nervous, but as of now, I hope to apply to graduate school in clinical psychology or to medical school. I’m forever changing my mind though, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens
Name: Elise Katrina Lanker
Hometown: Monticello, Illinois
Other Campus Activities: President of Sexual Health Peers, Volunteer for Rape Crisis Hotline
About Your CCP Experience: My experience with CCP so far has been extremely rich. I have learned a great deal about myself and about people in general. It has taught me some great interpersonal and interviewing skills which I believe will be wonderful for use in my personal and future professional life. I am excited to further participate in a program which lends great support to UIUC’s campus and the surrounding community.
Plans after Graduation: Upon graduating from UIUC I plan to attend a counseling/clinical psychology program to attain my doctor of psychology. I hope to then go on to practice my skills in a helping profession in which I can apply the knowledge I also acquired in the areas of diversity, social identity, and sexuality.
Name: Christopher Lofton
Hometown: Calumet City, IL
Major: Psychology Minor: Linguistics
Other Campus Activities: Crisis Line for 2 years
About Your CCP Experience: My experience has really shaped me as a person in a great way. I have gained many intentional interviewing skills that will help me professionally as well as socially. Everybody in the program just enhance the pleasant experience.
Plans after Graduation: After graduation I plan on going to grad school to get my PhD in Clinical or Counselling Psychology. My dream is to either practice or become a professor (or both hopefully).
Name: Stephanie Mieczkowski
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Other Campus Activities: Alternative Spring Break, The Career Center, ACE IT, Alpha Epsilon Phi
About Your CCP Experience: The CCP program has pleasantly surprised me in so many ways so far. It has connected me in a unique way to diverse, yet like-minded students who have a passion for helping others. It has taught me skills that will make me a better peer helper and a better leader. It has reminded me that there’s more to being a paraprofessional than who has the better internship or the higher grade. And there’s never a day that I’m not looking forward to class! I am so grateful to be part of such a caring and proactive community. I can’t wait to get more involved with the diverse student groups that we work with and to learn more about my fellow CCPs and myself throughout the course of the program!
Plans after Graduation: I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and hope to end up in a company that has similar values to CCP. However, CCP is also helping me realize that I’m very interested in counseling. Hopefully my future career will allow me to do a blend of the two!
Name: Rachel Park
Hometown: South Korea
Major: Psychology, Sociology
Other Campus Activities: CFC, National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
About Your CCP Experience: CCP has been awesome so far! Everyone in our group is very friendly and accepting of each other. It’s been great learning so many practical skills, and being able to use them while interacting with friends as well! CCP has also helped me find my personal strengths, and to use them correctly. I am so thankful to have been a part of CCP, and am very excited to learn more about counseling and to get to know my classmates better!
Plans after Graduation: I plan on going to graduate school after graduation. I am still deciding on what to do, but hopefully CCP will help me figure out what specific field of psychology I enjoy. After graduate school, I am hoping to get a job through which I can travel around the world, taste a variety of food, and be helpful to others!
Name: Nikki Schulz
Hometown: Geneva, IL
Other Campus Activities: Transcontinental Society, Neuroscience Society, Psi Chi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, Delta Zeta
About Your CCP Experience: I am entering my second semester within the CCP program. I have loved getting to know everyone involved in the program. I have also really enjoyed the program’s hands on approach with teaching counseling techniques and intentionality when interacting with a variety of individuals. I feel lucky to be a part of this unique program, and I know that it will provide me with valuable skills to meet future goals.
Plans after Graduation: I plan to eventually enter a Ph.D. program for clinical psychology.
Name: Larry Stribling
My name is Larry Kenyatta Stribling I am a senior pursuing a psychology degree from the college of Liberal Arts and Science. I was born raised in the great city of Chicago and I am the first of my mother and father’s children to attend college. Leadership wise I am the 2013-2014 president of the University of Illinois Black Chorus and an executive board member of Omega Delta Fraternity Inc. What I hold dear is my faith and belief that one must open there mind before opening up there mouth and create meaningful relationships with individuals. My experience with the Counseling Center Paraprofessional program continues to build upon this faith through the strategies and work that we learn.
Name: Lauren K. Wash
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Psychology, Gender & Women’s Studies
Other Campus Activities: Aside from the CCP Program, I am actively involved in Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society as a Senior Advisor, the Illini Mentor Program, Dr. Edelyn Verona’s Emotion and Behavior Lab as an undergraduate Research Assistant, Psi Chi Honor Society, Community Elements Crisis Line, and I am currently employed at the University of Illinois Foundation as a Student Development Representative. (I like to stay busy!)
About Your CCP Experience: The CCP Program has been amazing thus far, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. I had known former CCPs to rant and rave of the amazing-ness that is this program, so I knew I had to get involved, and experience it first hand. It’s not only given me valuable skills to assist my fellow students on campus through many different platforms, but it also helped me to make some concrete decisions about what I’d like to do as a profession. In addition to that, I have met and befriended 19 other amazing and talented students that share the same values, goals, and dedication that I have for the University of Illinois. Here’s to making the 2013-2014 school term one to remember for the CCP program!
Plans after Graduation: Currently I am applying for terminal Master’s programs in counseling psychology and mental health and wellness counseling. I hope to be able to go into one of these programs directly after graduating from UIUC, and then go on to get my PhD in Counseling Psychology. I hope to attend grad school outside of the Midwestern states, (wish me luck), and eventually I’d come back to my beloved Chicago to run a private practice that focuses on the treatment of eating disorders, or by doing something that focuses on women’s mental health and wellness.
Name: Daixi Wu
Hometown: Beijing, China
Other Campus Activities: CCHS, 290 Research Assistant for Personality Psychology
About Your CCP Experience: I’m enjoying and loving CCP! So glad that I’m in this program, it’s so different from all the other classes and two hours never seemed too long for this class. It’s a great opportunity to learn and practice new skills, which the skills are valuable and useful in anything I do. It’s also giving me a great chance to know about myself and make new friends. I’m really looking forward to the next two semesters and see what’s going to come!
Plans after Graduation: I’m planning to go to graduate school but still not sure of what major…hopefully I can figure out in next year. I hope to work in fields related to psychology and help others as I can.