Gen/480 Personal Growth and Development Essay

Personal Growth and Development In August of 2007 I decide to further my education and attend classes at the University of Phoenix. I was in customer service as a bartender and waitress and have three children. I had my children young but knew I had the potential to improve the quality of my life and apply personal experience in my field of interest. Since personal experience was not enough, I knew I had to get the credentials to pay forward. I made it my goal to set an example for my children and to personally achieve goals that I knew I was more than capable of reaching.

As a youth I went through the Juvenile Justice System. I spent a total of 1 year in the Juvenile Department of Corrections and I was detained ten times in the Juvenile Detention Center. I enjoyed many of my stays due to the structure and my personal growth. I always said I would come back and impact other youth. I knew if I could do it, so can others. I am now an employee of the Juvenile Probation Division as a Youth Intake Officer in the processing center and will be going full time in December as a Juvenile Probation Officer. My personal growth has developed rapidly.

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With the tools I have acquired through coursework along with my professional opportunities I have obtained since earning an Associate’s degree, I am able to match my personal experience with my professional requirements. I am also a college graduate and personally and professionally, this has impacted the way I think, feel and has made me become more marketable. Professional Competence Before attending course at the University of Phoenix, my competence in problem solving, written and oral skills were good. I worked in customer service and gained a great deal of knowledge of communication.

The main skills I learned in relation to communication were computer skills. I had never copied and pasted, attached a file or owned a computer. I bought a computer when I saw a commercial for online college. Without the experience I have had completing a degree online, I would not be as computer literate and proficient in completing tasks at work. Since we are 90% paperless at work, I would be lost without these important computer skills. Career Goals My career goals are to work as a Juvenile Probation Officer and eventually run a youth program when I complete a Masters program in Public Administration.

I would like to directly impact the lives of others through pro-social programming. I have several ideas that I am putting together with a Title I educator, but have yet to put together a concrete plan. I took a Grant and Proposal writing class that helped me decide that I want to earn a MPA. I am very fortunate that I had the opportunity to get my foot in the door prior to earning a Bachelor’s degree at my current job. It is very hard to get into this department due to a hiring freeze in our county due to budget issues. This has helped my career goals go into effect prior to earning my degree.

Growth Experienced During Program of Study It feels good to say that I have a degree! Earning an Associate’s degree was a very proud moment. Attending graduation and walking across the stage for the Bachelor’s program had a huge effect on me! I have confidence that I needed to keep me motivated and it allows me to teach my children not to ever give up. I have grown as a writer, researcher and thinker since I began the program in 2007. I have developed the ability to think out of the box, help others,, effectively communicate in a heated discussion, work with others and learn more about the business side of the human services field.

I once believed that being a good human services worker was just being naturally caring, passionate and helpful. Now I realize the blood, sweat and tears that go into running an agency or organization. There are many factors that go into reaching out to the community, and funding is a major key. I have learned to appreciate what others do to make the system work and recognize all the faces that are unknown that contribute greatly to make an organization become successful. General Education Courses Critical Thinking Critical thinking was very challenging. This class was in my second block of my Associates program.

This class seemed so foreign to me. I did not appreciate the content of learning, as I prayed for the day I was done! About a year later a friend of mine enrolled with the University of Phoenix. She was stressed out about her Critical Thinking class. I dreaded helping her, but I agreed to help her out with the class. We reviewed many of the terms and readings in the class. It dawned on me that the class was so easy. I could not believe I had so much trouble. Rhetorical thinking is used on a daily basis. Television broadcasts and strategic issues correlated with the Critical Thinking course.

It was so easy for me to help her and I realized the further I went into the program, the more I was learning and did not even realize it. It was a good moment and it made me feel smarter. Algebra Algebra was awful! I did not realize why in the world I had to take it! I knew I would not use it ever in my field. Wrong again! I used it a lot in the BSHS program. I never connected Human Services with Business. Once I was challenged with courses such as Statistics and Financial Management, I realized very quickly that Math and Human Services Management relate. The most important lesson learned from this class was to never give up.

I took that class three times in order to graduate. It was my last class needed to graduate. I knew I had motivation to get me through the degree program and drive to get through the Bachelors program. Core Courses Grant and Proposal Writing The Grant and Proposal Writing course was very intimidating until I got further into the class. I have been really digging dip into what I want to pursue in my Graduates program and this core course helped me decide. I am driven to run a human services program. I am confident that an MPA program will further my education and knowledge of running a program.

The Grant and Proposal Writing class has inspired my outlook on my educational and professional future. Case Management Case Management taught me how to organize not only for my own well-being but also for clients. Case Management enlightened me on the way to deal with people as a whole and in the professional world. The class really reminded why I am taking classes and why I am in the field of human services. The course re-ignited my passion for helping others and helped me get a second wind and push through this challenging degree program. Recommended Changes The experience I had during the degree program has been a roller coaster ride.

The biggest challenge is balancing life and school work. There have been times when I felt like giving up. It has been so difficult! I believe that the instructors were great! The instructors typically understand when life comes and throws you off routine. The biggest recommendation I would suggest is that the academic counselors did not change as frequently as Indiana weather. I believe my experience would have been better if I felt like I had my academic counselor guiding me when I needed guidance, advising me when needed and helping me periodically throughout the program.

Each academic counselor did fill that role, but it is very hard to start from the top each time a new advisor is introduced to me. Completion of the Bachelors Program The completion of the Bachelors program is imperative in order for me to complete my professional goals. My job requires a Bachelor’s degree. Not only do I need a degree to pursue a career in Juvenile Probation, I needed to learn how to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. This is one of the major skills I developed throughout the degree program.

I added contact notes to a case, which I do not typically work cases. My supervisor was so impressed with my written documentation skills; it prompted the process of transitioning me into Juvenile Probation, immediately following the completion of my degree program. These are skills I learned in the degree program, but I did not realize I was utilizing these skills, as the way I communicate verbally and in writing comes naturally at this point. Five Year Timeline I plan to begin a Graduate program beginning in January.

I am taking time off for the holidays in between degree programs. As mentioned earlier, I will be earning a MPA. I plan to complete this program within 2 years. I am unsure what university I will be attending, but am keeping my options open at this time. At the commencement ceremony, I was extremely inspired by the Doctorate ceremony, and ideally would like to earn a Doctorate degree myself. I will decide when I get closer to the completion of the MPA program. I do not want to jump two steps in front of my self.

The key to my success is to take my time and take each day as it comes. In the near future I will be taking the Probation Officer examination. If I pass the exam, I will be certified in the state of Indiana to be a Probation Officer. I am very nervous, but I see this as being a lifelong career. In addition to becoming a Probation Officer, I plan to run a program, but have not decided which way to turn. Five years from now I hope to be financially stable and able to assist my children with their own college dreams.

I am exhausted from working several part-time jobs at a time. The key to success is to keep learning. We can never honestly agree that we are smart enough and never keep an open mind. I want to stay in touch with the events in the world and to help the youth in this generation stay motivated and re-guide, re-focus and make a change for the better. Our children truly are our future. As a mother, professional and a member of today’s society, it is my personal goal to touch the lives of our youth. References http://www. in. gov/judiciary/center/2331. htm