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I am a first-generation college student.

Although my parents are unable to provide me with any of their personal academic experiences, they continue to have an influence on my work ethic. I recall sitting on my fathers lap as a young child and hearing him say, Work hard, so that you can follow your dreams. This sentiment of his was repeated to me in many conversations throughout my childhood and adolescence. My father was not looking to lecture me, nor was he trying to be inspirational. Instead, he wanted me to learn from his mistakes, and to be given the opportunity to pursue a career path that I find desirable. My father was limited in his choice of a career, because he decided to not attend college. His regrets in not pursuing a higher education led my father to push me academically. This motivation has had a large impact on my academic performance, and also on my desire to help others who may also need a push in their life. I am able to recognize the fact that many children are not fortunate enough to have an individual in their life, such as my father, to support them. Thus, I cannot personally imagine a more gratifying or fulfilling career than one that involves first earning a doctorate of philosophy in clinical psychology and then ultimately implementing an intervention that has the potential to help improve a childs life. When I began my undergraduate career at the Pennsylvania State University, I was exposed to a wide variety of psychology and human development and family studies courses, such as Interventions, Mental Health Practicum with Children, and Child Psychopathology, all of which strengthened my desire to pursue a doctorates degree in child clinical psychology. From my sophomore year until present, I have had the honor of working in Dr. Lynn Libens developmental psychology laboratory as a research assistant. This experience has provided me with a variety of technical skills, such as coding with SPSS and Interact, transcribing, and recruiting partcipants, all of which I believe will be helpful within a graduate program. During

my junior year, I had enrolled in a psychology course that gave me the opportunity to participate in Friendship Group, a social skills intervention for children with developmental disabilities. This intervention was created by Dr. Karen Bierman, a distinguished professor at the Pennsylvania State University. My hard work and passion within Friendship Group was obvious to my professor, Dr. Welsh, who allowed me to become her first undergraduate teaching assistant position in over a decade of her teaching this course. This experience reinforced and solidified my interest in the field of child clinical psychology, and in ultimately implementing an intervention in my future. As an undergraduate student, I have earned several leadership positions. As a freshman, I was a teaching assistant for a course in gender designed for seniors, and during my junior year I was a teaching assistant for an introductory psychology course that consisted of several hundred students. These teaching assistant positions gave me an opportunity to develop leadership skills, such as lecturing in front of a classroom, leading review sessions, holding office hours, and addressing the personal needs of students. I found these teaching assistant positions to be personally gratifying, as I was able to share my passion for psychology with fellow students, while helping them accomplish their academic goals. My undergraduate education also provided me with several opportunities to display my integrity. From my sophomore year until present, I have been a proctor for the psychology department, which required me to uphold the academic integrity policies of my university. A faculty member noticed my honesty and conscientiousness and, during my junior year, I was invited to join the Academic Integrity Committee for the Liberal Arts College. It is in my opinion that my leadership experiences and my honest and conscientiousness demeanor would positively contribute to a graduate program in clinical psychology.