Sarah Ford Seeks to Make a Difference in the World of Mental Health
November 09, 2020
Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations
MOUNT OLIVE – “I would like to be a part of the changes that need to be made in the mental healthcare field,” says Sarah Ford of Raleigh.
Ford earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in political science from North Carolina A&T State University in the spring of 2017. She received her master’s degree in community psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in the spring of 2019. She decided to seek her second master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Mount Olive (UMO) because of her desire to work with at risk youth and racial ethnic minority adults.
From July 2019 until March of 2020, Ford worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the country of Botswana. She served as a Health & HIV/AIDS Civil Society Capacity Building Volunteer helping HIV and AIDS affected adolescents through peer support and academic clubs within the schools and community center. “I was able to connect with the youth on a deeper level and walk in their experiences with them,” said Ford. “This helped me to understand that their behaviors weren’t random, but reactions from adversities that they faced in their everyday lives. My passion for working with this population grew from that experience.”
Ford’s service with the Peace Corps was cut short in March of 2020, when all programs were suspended and volunteers evacuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, back in the United States, Ford’s desire to make a difference only intensified. Determined to be better equipped to serve underserved populations, Ford enrolled in UMO’s program. “I would like to become a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with an emphasis on adolescent and racial ethnic minority mental wellness, because I believe that both populations deal with problems of stigma, discrimination, and limited access to mental healthcare,” she said.
“Our 100 % online program prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in a variety of counseling related settings including clinical mental health, marriage and family issues, substance abuse, and general counseling,” said UMO Associate Dean of Behavioral and Health Sciences Dr. C. Ray Taylor.
After graduating, Ford plans to seek licensure to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in North Carolina. “I believe the information and knowledge that I gain from this program will help me to become a competent and polished counselor who will have the skills to not only counsel, but also to advocate for individuals in underserved communities,” Ford said.
For more information, about the Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health degree, contact Dr. Taylor at Ctaylor@umo.edu, or call 1-800-653-0854.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.