Daniela Salinas

Since I was little, I have wanted to become a scientist. I imagined myself in a lab, with white scrubs, and goggles; mixing chemicals in beakers, or growing bacteria in test tubes. Because Im blind, I wasnt able to become this kind of scientist, or I would explode the entire lab. After researching the science field, I was immensely fortunate to discover Psychology. I can still be a Scientist, but without the forced need of vision, thanks to psychology’s versatility.

I am elated and proud to announce that I was accepted into the Mental Health Counseling Program I applied at Florida International University. Im enjoying every part of it, from my classes to my practicum. A great thing about this program is that from day one, we are in contact with patients. My practicum involves working in a treatment program with children with ADHD and other childhood disorders. I absolutely love helping these kiddos shape their behavior and prepare them for daily life functioning. Im also involve in parent training, which are sessions that teach parents skills in order to develop, reinforce and maintain positive changes in their diagnosed child. I feel like I have come full circle, when I was little wanting to be a crazy scientist, to now relish in my work as a clinician for children.

My ultimate goal is to pursue a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling in order to become a child and adolescent psychotherapist. Additionally, I want to become a college professor and a researcher. As a therapist, disorders characteristics, along with their causes and effects, captivate me and spark my curiosity. Im interested in understanding the consequences, associated features, and treatments for psychopathologies, especially anxiety disorders, with emphasis on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I wish to provide people with the tools, encouragement, and sense of humor to conquer their dreams and/or fears. I wish to help people change their negative behavioral patterns in order to help them enjoy a more happy and fruitful life.

As a college professor, I want to provide my students with a world class education that sparks in them curiosity and passion for psychology. The subject Id like to teach is Abnormal Psychology, as it focuses on unusual patterns of behavior. As a researcher, I will be able to become a scientist, and fulfill my life dream. I want to contribute to the sciences by conducting studies in child and adolescent mental health care trends, i.e., availability, accessibility, quality, use etc., in order to develop appropriate and accurate treatments. Additionally, I want to research the development and evolution of children who have been exposed to poor parenting models before and after birth, in addition to early disability identification and intervention in children, as well as the factors that place children at risk for such disabilities and their long-term outcomes.

I am blind, but I have not allowed my disability to become an obstacle. Due to this conviction, I have dedicated much effort in my studies. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami Senior High School in 2012. Additionally,I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University, earning the universities prestigious Worlds Ahead Graduate¬Ě award, in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology.

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