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Michael Solomon

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Bio

I am Michael Solomon. I have served in the Marines for over seven years. I am also a full-time student, pursuing a degree in psychology. My end career goal is to work as a clinical psychologist for the VA, or in private practice.

Education

Arizona State University Online

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
  • Minors:
    • Social Work
  • GPA:
    3.7

Arizona Western College

Associate's degree program
2019 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Sociology
    • Psychology, General
  • GPA:
    3.5

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Clinical Psychologist

    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisor

      Kappa Alpha Delta National Honor Fraternity
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Marine

      USMC
      2014 – Present10 years

    Sports

    Rowing

    Varsity
    2011 – 20121 year

    Research

    • International Relations and National Security Studies

      USMC — Analyst
      2014 – Present

    Arts

    • Putnam City High School Band

      Music
      2010 – 2012

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Crisis Text Line — Crisis Counselor
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Palms and paws animal shelter — Volunteer
      2022 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Morale, Welfare, Recreation — Volunteer
      2020 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    My greatest achievement has been my military career and my education journey. I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2014 and served until July 20th, 2023, while working on my bachelor's degree in psychology. It has been a slow process, with few small victories spread out over the nearly decade of work, but it has always been worth it. In December of 2022, I completed an intermediate goal of my journey when I completed my associate's degree in psychology. I anticipate completing my bachelor's degree in the Spring of 2024. I am also starting my graduate studies in a concurrent master's program in the Fall of 2024. Even with educational benefits from the military, I still paid for much of my education out of pocket or by accepting student loans. Despite these challenges, working full-time and mounting costs of tuition and supplies, I have made it to this point. I am close to completing my bachelor's degree, and starting the next major victory of my educational journey. The next major achievement is completing my master's degree in psychology by Spring of 2025, and the goal after completing that program is a doctoral program in clinical psychology. I still have several years before I complete my education goals, but where I am now represents the culmination of nearly a decade's worth of work. I appreciate the gifts and privileges I have had in my journey. I also appreciate the growth I had to do to meet the challenges of my journey. Together, they have influenced who I am and where I plan to go. The start of my concurrent graduate studies marks a change in my focus on my future career. This shift in mindset is happening while I also exit military service, and seek new opportunities. I hope to become a clinical psychologist and work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help fellow veterans with the pain they endure. Veterans are often forgotten by society and the government, and they deserve an advocate and someone to care for them and show them the empathy they deserve. I also hope to provide support to foster children with pro bono work. Foster children are also often neglected during periods when they are particularly vulnerable. I hope to be a positive force in the lives of those that are left behind by society and help them work through their challenges in a healthy way.
    VNutrition & Wellness’ Annual LGBTQ+ Vitality Scholarship
    I am working to be a clinical psychologist, with a focus on LGBTQ+ mental health challenges. My desire to help people in my community has been the focus of my education, and I want to serve the communities that are underrepresented and have historically not had the same access to mental healthcare as the dominant groups of society. Transgender people in particular are facing increased scrutiny from the right-wing political block for simply existing. According to the translegislation tracker website, there have been at least 86 anti-transgender bills passed in 2023, across 49 states in the U.S. Many of these criminalize gender-affirming care for people up to 26 years old. Some of these make providing the recommended treatment for transgender people a felony, and immediately revoke the license of any medical providers if they provide gender-affirming care. This extends to mental healthcare. Transgender people who are at increased risk for suicide because of the increased discrimination they experience, and already struggle to access safe mental healthcare, have been barred from the standard of care that could alleviate some of the challenges that they face. Not only is this a terrible injustice, it creates a second-class citizen of transgender people. By some definitions, these actions are forms of genocide, and unfortunately, few people outside the LGBTQ+ community recognize this fact. As a non-binary individual, I see this occurring in my former home, where over half of these bills have been passed. It is no longer safe for me to live in my home state, where I wanted to serve the LGBTQ+ community. I still advocate for my community and provide support to other LGBTQ+ people where I can. I can do even more once I have achieved my educational goals by providing safe and cost-effective mental healthcare to the LGBTQ+ community. I can add my voice as a counselor and as a community member to the many experts that speak out against the discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. I can work with the activists that have done so much work to get us to marriage equality to expand that to equal treatment under the law for our most vulnerable LGBTQ+ community members and grant them a safe space to feel heard and supported. This is what is in my power to do with my education, and my aspirations to make our world a little safer for the LGBTQ+ community in the future. Perhaps once the law has been made to keep LGBTQ+ people safer, then I can work to make social norms safer for the community as well.
    Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship
    Before military service, the world is already a terrifying place with regular violence, catastrophe, and injustice toward many people. Military service can insulate people from some of these challenges, but it also creates novel experiences and threats that are unique to military life. One of these is the imminent threat of death in both combat and non-combat situations. While I was serving as part of the 3rd Intelligence Battalion, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan in 2015 I experienced the effort that went into search and rescue support as an intelligence analyst. In the month of my assignment to the 3rd Intelligence Battalion, Nepal experienced an earthquake that devastated the country. While I was not attached to the Marine Expeditionary Unit that responded within the country, I was assigned supporting roles to identify areas that were isolated and worked sixteen-hour shifts in that effort. During the humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts, a UH-1 utility helicopter went missing, carrying aboard it 12 people. Efforts shifted to locate the missing aircraft and save the crew and passengers if possible. After two weeks of searching, everyone was dreading what may have happened to the four Marines and eight Nepali soldiers. I felt like I was failing to save them every morning at shift change. Those two weeks were possibly the worst weeks of my life. In the third week of search efforts, a local Nepali citizen found parts of the wreckage, and a few days later, the aircraft was located. All souls aboard the aircraft had perished when it impacted the side of a mountain. I never learned how the impact occurred. I assume that the altitude and the thin air may have reduced the aircraft's ability to climb, and between the weather and the reduced lift, the pilot may have not had enough control to avoid the crash. I still think about what I could have done to help those Marines, if I had just worked a little harder. I know that there was nothing I could do, but I still feel guilty about their deaths. My education has entirely focused on helping other veterans through these troubles. I hope to be a clinical psychologist with the Department of Veteran Affairs to provide some reassurance, and positive regard for those who struggle with their mental wounds from the past twenty years of combat. Our veteran community deserves people who understand their struggles, and who are properly educated to help them heal from their invisible scars. It has been the goal of my education to be one of those people.
    @Carle100 National Scholarship Month Scholarship
    John J Costonis Scholarship
    I aim to become a clinical psychologist, with a specialty in abnormal psychology, child psychology, and LGBTQ+ inclusive counseling. I have been working full time in the military for eight years, while attending college. I graduate with my associates in the fall of 2022, and start my bachelors degree in the same semester. I am taking classes full time, including the one month class block each semester. Of course, working full time, and going to school full time has created an urgent demand on my time and energy. I have maintained an estimated 3.54 grade point average in my associates work. I face challenges at work as well, because education benefits only cover approximately a half to three quarters of my schoolwork at this time. I have been paying for the remainder of my classes either out of pocket, with federal aid, or with payment plans offered from the colleges I have attended. Add in the normal costs of living in California, and it leaves little time for the niceties of life. Most times, I work on homework during my evening, wake up at five in the morning to get ready, start my workday at six in the morning, and finish my workday at four to five o’clock in the afternoon. This work schedule has been difficult to balance with my life, but it has worked to this point. It has created a strain on my mental health, which I actively manage with a counselor, and my partner’s help. I also face discrimination in my workplace because of my sexual orientation, and gender identity. While this is not directly related to my education, the additional stress has also impacted my performance in my education. But I will succeed, because it means so much to me. I aim to complete my education goals within an additional two to three years, and complete my doctoral work in an additional four to five. I will then seek employment with either a small hospital, the department of veterans affairs, or start a practice myself. I would prefer to start at a small hospital or the Department of Veterans’ affairs because I think I can do the most good there. I also dream of providing pro bono work to the foster care system because foster children often lack the support a stable family situation that enables better mental health outcomes. In any case, I will be helping others. That will make every struggle and challenge worth it.
    Students for Animal Advocacy Scholarship
    Animals do not have a voice for themselves and require us to survive in many cases. Livestock animals, such as sheep, are virtually unable to survive as a result of the selective breeding that we have done. Sheep need to be sheered, or they can overheat. Chickens, especially meat chickens are often genetically or medically engineered to optimize the amount of meat that can be harvested from them. These are but two of the injustices livestock animals now have to live with. Pets are also entirely dependent on us for food, water, care, and companionship. Many people feel that pets are part of the family, but often any crimes against animals are treated as little more than property crimes. These crimes should be changed to reflect the pain they cause. Cruelty toward animals is a failure of our duty to animals, as we have created the environement they live in, and often the bodies they have. Pets are at the whimes of their owners, and often time it is difficult to prove neglect or abuse against the owners of pets, as the only way to gather evidence of abuse is through warrent served search, or through examination of the animal in question. This is unacceptable as a position, as abusive pet families will just forego taking their pet to the vet, and serving a warrent requires a judge to issue it. This requires some evidence to aquire. Without a tip or other form of suspicious circumstance, these crimes go unpunished. My sense of justice requires that I try to correct these failures. One way I have done this is by volunteering with my local animal control shelter, and adopting a cat from that shelter. While there are certainly ways to improve the situation, they require advocacy from a broader array of people to change and introduce laws that reduce cruelty toward animals. I continue to do what work I can at the shelter, and advocate for animal welfare.
    Glider AI-Omni Inclusive Allies of LGBTQ+ (GOAL+) Scholarship
    Military life leads to isolation from many aspects of the community and forces those that serve to be reliant on other service members for support. A large portion of the military community has become more and more socially conservative during the Trump administration as a result of effective messaging targeted toward cis, white, and heterosexual people. This has resulted in my workplace becoming more and more hostile against my sexuality and gender identity. Though I have constantly tried to educate others on the importance of acceptance and inclusion, it is a losing battle. For every minute of inaccurate or deliberately misinformed talking points that are spread, it takes at least three minutes to counter the messaging with factual data, and peer-reviewed interpretations. And these efforts assume that the person I am trying to educate is acting in good faith, which appears to be a bad assumption for my immediate workplace. While my family is supportive, they are not the people I regularly interact with on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, I have few to no people that support me in my immediate social circle. My major is Psychology, and I intend to take my education to the doctorate level, with a focus on abnormal psychology, LGBTQ+ mental healthcare, and child psychology. I intend to do both research and counseling so that I can contribute to what humanity has learned about itself, and help those around me to improve their mental health. My immediate academic goals are to complete my associate's and bachelor's degrees within the next year. I intend to complete my master's work within the next three to four years, and doctorate work within the next five to six years. I may be behind my peers, but I hope to continue the hard work I have been doing to catch up to my peers and start my new career before I am thirty-five. While my impacts immediately after I complete my undergraduate work will likely be minor I will still work toward effective advocacy for the community. These efforts will likely consist of voting, canvassing, and protesting to rallying support for better government policy in the interests of the LGBTQ+ community. These efforts will be centered around critical intersectional theory but informed by egalitarian philosophies, such as anarcho-syndicalism. I hope after I complete my master's degree I will have an increased impact on the individual and family level. The real impact I will have toward helping the LGBTQ+ community will become more systemic, hopefully, and improve the lives of people I have never met, and make being LGBTQ+ safer for everyone in the community. These works and efforts will have cumulative effects as my body of work expands, and I become more and more of an expert in both LGBTQ+ mental health challenges and mental healthcare treatment options. Coupled with sociology and other fields, palpable societal change is a realistic, if optimistic, outcome.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    There has been an epidemic of mental health issues in the U.S. for many decades. A major issue within this epidemic is veteran suicide. I am studying to become a clinical psychologist to try and decrease the rate of suicide in both the veteran community, and among children and young adults. One life saved will be validation enough for all the effort. People deserve to be happy, and sometimes that means they also deserve help to identify and assist them through their issues. Being a psychologist is but one way of helping people with these issues, and if it means that the small changes that I can make might grow into a healthier community, then my goals for society have at least started to gain traction. Someday I hope that people don’t feel afraid to seek help, especially when it is with issues that could cost someone their life. Perhaps I am optimistic, but in this pursuit, I think it is a prerequisite for my ideals and goals.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    Mental health is as important as physical health, for physical health can suffer because of mental illness. And the same can be said the other way around. One cannot be healthy if one neglects their mental health. It is so important to me that it caused me to pursue an education in psychology and counseling. I have struggled with depression, anxiety and neuro-divergence related issues my entire life. It is hard to work past these issues alone. We all need help on occasion. Sometimes we need help that nonprofessionals cannot provide. To help make this gap in help better, I have dedicated myself to help people with these issues. It has been slow work, a semester at a time. But each class completed leads me one step closer to being able to help others. As society realizes the negative impacts of mental illness on both individuals and social structures, mental health has been slowly destigmatized. The process is slow, and incomplete. But it has started. Now efforts must focus on spreading the importance and awareness of mental health and mental healthcare. Hopefully, the world will correct this issue, and correct the course that mental healthcare had been on for so long.
    Pettable Pet Lovers Scholarship Fund
    Veterans Writing Group of San Diego Ernie Pyle Award
    When it started, I was just a kid. Just graduated high school, I didn’t know a thing about the world. Still don’t know a lot. But that’s just life in the service. You learn what you have to, and what you need. But no one teaches you who you are. Nobody teaches you how to make life work. That’s the stuff you have to figure out. And it’s tough. You don’t learn how to interact with your peers. You don’t get taught how to form a relationship. That’s all stuff you have to FITFO. They do teach you to work hard. You learn what really matters between friends. You learn loss, and grief. You learn fraternity and kinship. You make some of the strongest bonds that can be made. But sometimes it’s hard to share life without those bonds. It’s hard to communicate the profound pain without one of those brothers or sisters with you. Remembrance of those lost, of the failures you make, and the hard lessons learned from them. That is what will forever change how you act. You can’t forget, because it would dishonor the lost. You can grow. You can forgive yourself. But you can NEVER forget. But as my time in the military begins to wane, I reflect on what I learned. Sometimes it can be hard to remember the important things. But the loss of a Marine, what I could have done. Those are first among equals. Then comes the work ethic. The drive to complete something. Not just get it done at the minimum. To complete it, ensure it is finished. This prose even, as meandering and unplanned, somewhere there is a completion. And I don’t always know where it is. The words will flow as they need. They will complete when they do. I have two years or so to figure out the same for my military career. And I don’t know what I will do.
    Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
    Recently, my grandfather past away. It was a major challenge to my mental health, and was one reason of many that I started to spiral into a depression. I attended counseling, and worked toward improving myself again. Because my grandfather was such a strong person, and he inspired so many to be better. I am one of that legion he inspired. I have broken down walls I had forgotten I built. I began to heal, and work toward a better life. That is what my grandfather would want. And what those around me deserve. It’s what I deserve. While I miss my grandfather so much, I am trying to grow into the person he would be proud of. Now I focus on my education, and bettering myself for those around me. My education will help me connect those around me to both themselves and their loved ones. I want to be a psychologist, because people want and need help so often, but just do not know how to ask for it. If I can help someone learn themselves and connect more deeply with their loved ones, then my life will have been a success. My grandfather connected so many people. I hope someday that I connect as many people in ways that are as deep as the connections my grandfather made. That is what matters, the people around us.
    Pool Family LGBT+ Scholarship
    Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the U.S. As a result, it can be a challenge being anything but a pristine example of heteronormative expectations. Being bisexual, and non-binary, it is a challenge to call the state home. I fear that I will be persecuted once I return home, especially with increased calls for trans and non-binary exclusion and discrimination. Though my family is supportive for the most part, it can be challenging to think that some of my family will not accept me. While that may not be the majority of my relatives, it still pains me that any would reject who I am because they view it as a sin, disgusting, or any other demeaning adjective. I hope that will change as time passes. I want to be a clinical psychologist, and help others with these same feelings. I hope to work with foster children, and LGBT+ children to help them with the pressures of my home. In the short term, I hope that I can help those around me by providing a positive role model. My near-term educational goals include an associate's in psychology and a bachelor's of science in psychology. I expect to graduate with my associates in the fall of 2022. My bachelor's will likely take an additional two to three years, as I am a full-time employee. I have worked hard to get to this point, and hope to be complete with these efforts before I change careers.
    Mental Health Movement x Picmonic Scholarship
    I am a Marine. I work hard, push myself to the edge of my endurance, and I struggle with depression, and anxiety. In the military, people are expected to work in dangerous and stressful situations. While this is necessary, sometimes it is easy to forget that we are still people. We have stressors, and problems like anyone else. But for me, when life is hard, I throw myself into work. Mental health treatment is also stigmatized, which makes it hard to approach. Especially when society expects its warriors to be stoic in the face of danger and stress. Sometimes it can be especially challenging to find time to seek help. These experiences with mental illness, and mental health treatment are driving factors in my chosen degree. I want to help people like myself, Veterans who struggle with mental illness. There are approximately 17 Veteran suicides a day. One would be too many. As a result, I am pursuing a degree in psychology. I want to specifically specialize in abnormal psychology, and clinical psychology. Helping one person would be enough to make it worth it. My experience helps me to understand and empathize with those who are struggling. They have opened my eyes to the pain that many people go through. Hopefully, this will enable me to help heal these wounds beneath the surface. I hope that I can help others through these extremely painful ordeals, and teach them skills that can make the next ordeal a little easier. If I can do that, I have fulfilled a good life.
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    To select a favorite book is a challenge. There are many stunning writers, many bewitching themes, and intriguing settings. Does one select a fiction title, or a non-fiction analytical work? And the subdivisions therein. For non-fiction, I am forced to choose "Leaders Eat Last". It is a leadership focused non-fiction work. It identifies the ways in which a leader acts versus a boss or other superior. It lays out how a leader prioritizes their subordinates, and ensures that they are able to focus on what they need to while still managing discipline and other issues. For fiction, it is more difficult to make a selection. Between genre, author, and setting it is nearly impossible to settle on a hard fast choice. Do I go with the classics, such as the Iliad or Odyssey? Do I choose something from the medieval period, such as Chaucer? Or perhaps mid-1900s with "How to kill a mockingbird"? The variety and depth of options allows so many choices. I think it is enough to enjoy a book for what it is, and not compare it to other works. It is the enjoyment of reading that matters the most, not the specific material of the activity. To read is to live a different life, and allow one to expand their horizons. Reading is exploring worlds with new eyes, and enjoying what surprises are there to be found. In conclusion, I shall not choose a favorite book. Because it is never the book that creates the enjoyment, it is the novelty of its contents.
    SkipSchool Scholarship
    While I do not have a specific favorite scientist, I do have a favorite research division, the Kent State Psychology Department. They are one of the few teams doing research on LGBT+ people, specifically non-binary or gender non-conforming people. They are shining a light on an under-researched population, and helping the broader scientific community to better understand more aspects of the Human Experience.
    Bold Great Minds Scholarship
    I admire the Stonewall Inn Rioters. They were the first LGBT+ people in the U.S. to challenge immoral laws against the community that had a major success. Now, LGBT+ people have more freedoms and more equal treatment under the law than in recent memory. Without the Stonewall riots, it is likely that I, and many people like me, would be forced into conversion therapy. Conversion therapy has been classified by the U.N. as a method of torture. This change has been great, but there are current threats to the equal treatment of LGBT+ people in the recent years. For instance, in 2021 there have been more anti-transgender laws passed than in the past year, than in the next highest year. That year was 2016. The total number of anti-LGBT laws passed has exceeded twenty. Most of these laws target transgender children, and their parents. Many deny these children gender affirming care, such as puberty blockers, mental health treatment that affirms their gender identity, and the right to compete in the appropriate sports teams. Some target their parents, making it legally child abuse to support the children who do not conform to the gender they were assigned at birth. Undoubtedly, the Stonewall Rioters allowed me and others like me many freedoms that would have been denied to us. Their legacy of bravery in the face of government sponsored oppression stands as an inspiration to me to continue to advocate for more equal treatment for all people. A quote I once heard says "Until a black transwoman has nothing to fear from society, we surely are not equal." Though I do not know who said this, I do understand their meaning. Until the people who have faced the most discrimination no longer fears discrimination, we have yet to be truly equal.
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    The only truly global problem in the world is global warming. The UN recently released a report on the dangers to humanity. At the top of the report was global warming. At the current rate of warming, humanity is not likely to last past the next century. The dangers are immediate. Several island nations are at risk of complete envelopment from ice melt in the Antarctic, and other glacial ice packs. There are politicians and world leaders who deny the risks. They continue to ignore the problem, and hinder those who are trying to improve the situation. There are lobbyists that petition the governments of the world to turn a blind eye to the climate change. There are people starving because the climate has changed enough to prevent them from growing enough crops. This would be an issue all its own, but our reliance on energy sources that aggravate the problem drives us into a vicious cycle. The melting of the ice caps causes additional light to be absorbed into the earth, the warming of the oceans causes additional captured CO2 to be released, and we add to the annual increase of carbon into the atmosphere by approximately 40 billion metric tons. If the world does not change course, my children may not have a world that will let them survive. There are options to decrease the current global emissions. One is renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal. Another is nuclear power, which is the safest option of all current power production methods. First, nuclear fuels will be depleted regardless of their active use. They decay into more stable isotopes. Second, government agencies have so heavily regulated the safety protocols for nuclear energy, that any form of melt down is incredibly low. Nuclear power is a clear solution.