Alumni Spotlight: Kendra Morris-Jacobson, MA
February 13, 2010
A celebrity interview. A county fair. A teen’s disappearance. An accidental shooting. A schizophrenic musician. A brain tumor. A chair-ridden giant. A court appearance. This list has all the components for a sensational best-seller. Yet, these are mini-snapshots from my career as a Lewis & Clark Counseling Psychology 94 alumnus.
Equipped with a BA in English literature from Gettysburg College, I entered graduate school with visions of tidy, office-based counseling. Instead, I have been privy to an array of eclectic adventures. I wish there were time and space to share the stories.
My graduate school internship at an outpatient psychiatry clinic evolved into a position offering individual, family and group counseling to depressed and suicidal youth under the supervision of an outstanding psychiatrist. After a few fruitful, dramatic years, the birth of my own children necessitated that I seek less intense work.
A switch to my present, part-time recruitment and outreach position in foster care adoption offers flexibility, and the blending of therapeutic and literary skills. While not as colorful as psychiatry, outreach is replete with thrills and surprises. For the last 15 years, I have contributed to organizations such as Boys & Girls Aid, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and Voice for Adoption where my tasks have included: reading children’s case files; evaluating adoption home studies; interviewing adoptive families and children; writing family stories, writing and and editing newsletters; pitching articles and ads to the media; speaking at community events; and much more.
My counseling psychology degree is critical, both for understanding and communicating clinical content, as well as for guiding sensitive interactions with clients, and with the public. Ethically, with over 120,000 foster children nationwide waiting for adoptive homes, including hundreds in Oregon, it is a cause I can advocate for unequivocally.
I’m happy to network or consult with Lewis and Clark Counseling Psychology students or alumni. On occasion, the Northwest Adoption Exchange and its partner program the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center are in need of volunteers or interns. Who knows, perhaps a new adventure is poised for you just around the corner!
Kendra Morris-Jacobson, MA