“I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.”
-Robert Sapolsky (Neuroendocrinologist, Stanford University)
My interest in earning a professional science degree guided me since I was in the high school. I was fascinated with the reaction of combining different elements in the biology and chemistry lab. Despite the fact, that I learned various subjects (e.g., history, political science and art); however, my choice in education remained loyal to the science field. In addition, I had years of background in communication with various science professionals (e.g., Speech Therapist, Psychologist and Neuropsychologist) which stimulated my desire stimulated to earn professional science degree. Thus, I decided to earn a Master in Applied Behavior Analysis in California State University of Northridge.
Despite the difficulties that I faced in my educational journey a higher education was not a poor option. Winning the fame of being the first individual to receive a Master’s Degree among my sibling was something I wanted. Amazingly, my journey in education began immediately after becoming a single mother, living in the U.S. without immediate family and no education in English. Being a single working mother and a full-time student increased my passion to maintain high grades, which was the undertaking that I sustained. As a result, I earned a Bachelor’s in Commination Disorder from California State University of Northridge (CSUN) with a G.P.A 3.40.
After that, I worked for six years and had two more children. At the age of three, my youngest were diagnosed with developmental delay in verbal communication, and they were still socially withdrawn. My dedication, focus, and energy was invested in assisting my children, developing their speech skills, and helping them become more socially active with their environment. In the two years under the supervision of others professionals (e.g., special education teacher, speech therapist, and behavioral therapist) I had applied some skills and knowledge towards real world activities (e.g., modeling, speech expansion, and practicing positive reinforcement). It helped my twins to move out of the Individual Education Plan (IEP), transferring them from a Special Education classroom to a regular classroom. I began to value these professionals, and this became my motive for backing these professionals.
In 2014, while doing volunteer work in class activities at a preschool, I met a five-year-old student who only spoke Spanish. I remained very attentive to him. He was hurting other student’s fingers by unintentionally toy tools on play table. As I created a deeper connection with the student, I showed him how to use the hammer toy properly during his play hour, without injuring himself or others. Regardless of the challenges the child posed, I was determined to assist him in properly playing and improve his social habits with his fellow classmates, which I succeeded in doing. This memory embodies the reason why I have decided to enroll in MS-ABA program.
Despite the responsibility I had to care for my family and career, my interest of graduate study did not wane. As my twins became more independent and started school, I took the opportunity in pursuing graduate studies again. I took an online graduate level class Psychology class: “Diversity and Psychology” with Dr. Rampuist. At first, I did not know what to expect, but my passion extinguished my fear and enhanced my study skills; I earned an A. The class helped me gain a more diverse mentality and become culturally competent. After that, I took two classes in Behavioral Analysis at Master level at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
I got a taste for success through my graduate studies, and became more motivated to invest in and understand the problems that I saw around me in the worlds of individuals with special needs (e.g., children with autism, down syndrome, and related disorders). I realized I wanted to be a Behavior Analyst, assisting in bringing changes to communities with special needs. According to B.F. Skinner “The feeling of being interested can act as a kind of neurological signal, directing us to fruitful areas of inquiry (Skinner, B.F.).”
Through my undergraduate studies, the graduate classes, volunteer work, and multi-cultural background (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English speaking individual), I hope to have established a solid foundation to be considered a reliable candidate to the MS-ABA at CSUN. I want to enhance my basic knowledge in educating others about the definition, the purpose, and the benefit of using Behavioral Analysis therapy. Moreover, I like to deliver the significance of B.F. Skinner: “I have to tell people that they are not responsible for their behavior. They're not creating it; they're not initiating anything. It's all found somewhere else That's an awful lot to relinquish (Skinner, B.F.).”
I want to earn the fruit of this study, and be a reliable reference as the first female in my family earning Master in science in alternative language and a distant country.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Thank you for your time.