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Sally Lahoud

2855

Bold Points

9x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

I have known for a long time that psychology was the field for me. I have such a strong passion, even a calling, to work in the mental health field. While completing my bachelor’s degree, it became clearer to me that I want to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. I believe that family is a core element in mental health and has vast effects on our relational capabilities and the way we see the world. I grew up with rather complicated family dynamics and I believe that we live in a time where ethnocentric and conventional portrayals of families are being deconstructed constantly, therefore the challenges such a job would entail, align perfectly with my competencies and characteristics. Once I graduate I would like to open my own practice that welcomes individuals from all walks of life. I would like to apply a dynamic therapeutic approach, using a number of different models, leaving room for a non-linear therapeutic relationship with clients. I would also like to either build or join a network of mental health experts to exchange knowledge and uplift one another. Additionally, I would like to engage in community psychology or social work, actively giving back to the community and strengthening the sense of collectivism. Aside from my main focus of observing, evaluating, diagnosing, and guiding individuals through any difficulties, I would also like to be an activist against all forms of oppression, lack of inclusion and injustice.

Education

Wittenberg University

Bachelor's degree program
2018 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
    • Philosophy

Lebanon College

High School
1996 - 2009

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Counseling Psychology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Counseling and Therapy

    • Dream career goals:

      Private practitioner

    • Sales Assistant

      La Senza
      2009 – 20112 years
    • Customer Service Team Leader

      The Luxury Closet
      2014 – 20184 years
    • Account Manager

      Fetchr
      2017 – 20181 year
    • Special Needs Teacher

      LEAPS
      2009 – 20123 years
    • Associate assistant

      Lebanese American University
      2011 – 20132 years

    Sports

    Tennis

    Varsity
    2010 – 20133 years

    Volleyball

    Varsity
    2011 – 20121 year

    Arts

    • Choir and solo artist

      Music
      School shows, church shows, bar singer,
      1996 – 2017

    Public services

    • Public Service (Politics)

      Church — Packing and distributing relief packages
      2015 – 2017
    • Volunteering

      Inmaa — Medical assistant, receptionist, data entry, associate assistant, translator
      2010 – 2015
    • Volunteering

      BCYM — Camp leader, group leader, data entry, report writer
      2006 – 2012

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Susy Ruiz Superhero Scholarship
    The counselor who helped me pursue higher education is called Nompumelelo. She is based out of the University of Witwatersrand where I received my bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy. She was my guidance counselor and had already been tremendously helpful throughout my degree at the university. As my program was nearing its end, I was unsure about whether I was ready to pursue my master's degree or how I should go about doing so. Following many visits to her office where she always made me feel very welcome and cared for, Nompumelelo guided me patiently and kindly towards the graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling that I am currently pursuing. Nompumelelo knew that I was in South Africa without my family and assumed a very maternal role in my life. I would go to her not only for academic advice, which was her role but also mental and emotional support. She set an incredible example at that institution for what a guidance counselor should be like. Although the waiting time to get a meeting with her was always very long due to how incredibly warm and helpful she was to all her students, she was certainly always worth the wait! Throughout my two years in South Africa, I struggled with a lot of depression and anxiety. I was overcome with feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and insecurity about my future. I had stopped believing that I would be able to continue my education past my bachelor's degree and wanted to just quit. Nompumelelo invested herself time and time again in ensuring that I remain steadfast in my academics, believe in my ability to complete my degree, and invest myself in going further and pursuing my master's degree. Although I was initially struggling academically with the new system that I was not familiar with, I ended up improving my marks significantly, getting honors and certificates of first-class for my last semester, and applying for a master's degree in the United States for clinical mental health counseling. I don't know if I ever would have been able to accomplish all of this and be ready for another degree had it not been for the help and support of Nompumelelo. I have attended numerous academic institutions across 4 countries and 3 continents thus far and I must say that I have not yet experienced such kind, caring, and inspiring support from a faculty member from anyone but Nompumelelo. I hope more students are lucky enough to encounter similar inspiration throughout their academic journies.
    Melissa Ludwig Diversity in Yoga Scholarship
    As a Lebanese woman from the Middle East, I have struggled with back pain for a long time and from an early age. I found out I have a pretty bad case of scoliosis as well as a protrusion in my spine which was causing me immense pain. Following many doctors' appointments, physical therapy, chiropractors, and more, I noticed that we were merely tackling the immediate symptoms with no relevant change in my condition. That's when I learned about Yoga. Initially, it was merely a physical practice for me, to strengthen my core and alleviate pressure from my back. The more I practiced, the more curious I became about this beautiful tradition. I began learning more, researching, watching documentaries, and surrounding myself with a yoga community. Although the physical benefits were evident and incredible, it was the mental benefits that drew me deeper into this incredible practice. I was introduced to yoga after embarking on an academic journey to becoming a mental health counselor. By the time I began practicing regularly, I had saved up enough money from 7 years of working to get through my undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy. I am now working towards a master's degree in mental health counseling with an emphasis on policy advocacy for social justice. Diversity and representation are essential concepts to the work I am trying to do. Aside from a license in mental health therapy, I am working towards certificates in yoga, mindfulness, and life coaching. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I took advantage of the state of isolation to do heavy self-work and gain clarity on what it is I am trying to achieve. I now know that my purpose is to spread loving awareness, my mission is to provide as many people as I can with a holistic perspective on wellness while fiercely fighting injustice and oppression globally. With this in mind, I plan to use my teachings to promote positive change and growth in the world through the incorporation of numerous wellness practices, backed by hard evidence to ensure access to everyone equally. Yoga is one of the practices that, throughout my journey, has changed my life; physically, mentally, and spiritually. I feel very strongly about sharing this life-changing experience with as many people as I can.
    Amplify Green Innovation Scholarship
    I have felt very strongly about climate change for many years now. I find it difficult to pick just one problem that interests me most. I have done much research on the causes, solutions, innovations, and organizations working to fight climate change. In my own life, I am on a plant-based diet, have reduced my waste significantly, avoid plastic as often as I can, recycle, avoid using non-EVs, speak up as often as I can about it, being conscious of energy consumption, among other things. My latest interest however was based on a documentary called Kiss the Ground that explains the dangers of tilling and our soil's ability to reverse climate change. I am currently working on my graduate degree in mental health counseling with hopes of having my own practice soon. I will be simultaneously getting a certificate in policy advocacy to take preventative measures in fighting injustice. My plan is to accumulate wealth then use it heavily to invest in this same fight while leading an environmentally conscious life and volunteering anywhere I can. Although this is not yet on my horizon, I remain very open to taking a bigger part in this fight as it weighs on me greatly.
    Scholarcash Role Model Scholarship
    When asked who my role model is, my mind wanders to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Desmund Tutu, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King. But in all honesty, the answer that truly hits home is my mother. My family consists of my mom, dad, step-mom, brother, four half-siblings, my sister-in-law, and a niece! I was raised primarily by my mom. During a time when divorce was very taboo in Lebanon, she paved the way for our community to reconsider the strength of an independent woman. Raised by a single mother herself as well, my unique lineage of capable women gave me room to set higher expectations for myself. Their empowerment allowed me to pave my own path to my goals, regardless of how unorthodox it was. When my mother was 8 months pregnant with me, the civil war was coming to an end. One day, my parents were held at gun-point and lined up to be shot dead. My older brother was less than a year old and the three of them were moments away from being fired at when an opposing militia showed up and started shooting at the scene, allowing my parents to run for their lives miraculously unscathed, at least physically. She has had countless similar near-death, traumatic and increasingly difficult experiences. However this whirlwind of tribulations is met with a daily grounding in gratitude and positivity. From a young age, I watched as my mom naturally acted as our community's rock. Everybody would come to her for advice, an open ear and some motherly love. I grew up seeing her single-handedly manage a full-time job, two children, our household and many more without falling short in providing us with all the attention and support we could ever need. With ease, she juggles through her responsibilities with seemingly no disturbance from all the heavy stress of living in a politically and economically chaotic environment. No matter how heavy her load became, she would never let anyone coming to her for support feel like a burden and always manage to give them her undivided attention without neglecting other areas. She is an activist at heart, paving the way for women in the strongly patriarchal Middle East, being the first female member of a number of associations. However perhaps what inspires me the most is that she somehow managed to exemplify complete independence while highlighting the human nature of needing help. She normalizes asking the community for help when needed but also always proves to be highly self-sufficient. No amount of pain or suffering - and she endured a significant amount of both! - ever stopped her from counting her blessings and maintaining hope. She is brave, wise, inspirational and by far my favorite of role models. I am currently applying to graduate school in mental health counseling after a long and difficult journey through 3 different continents! I started a bachelor of science in psychology in Lebanon which I was not able to complete due to economic struggles. I later moved to Dubai to study and work in order to afford higher education. I worked as a customer service team leader overseeing a team of ten, acquiring and further developing conflict management skills. I then moved to South Africa where I acquired my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy. I chose South Africa because of how valuable a psychology degree from a country whose people experienced deep systematic depersonalization and intense racism for centuries would be. While struggling through anxiety and depression halfway across the world from my home, my constant calls with my mom were my rock. She kept me looking ahead and pushing to grow and improve always. Little did I know when I began this journey that watching her be everyone's mother throughout my life served as an example for the profession I was made for. And although the journey has been at times difficult, scary and exceptionally lonely, I can say with certainty that my mom has been gently and lovingly guiding me towards all I can ever wish to be both directly and simply by being an exceptionally inspirational hero. When things get difficult, I am always reminded that I am innately worthy of love and success. I know that so long as my success lies in the number of lives I help improve, I will always have enough fuel to carry on building a better tomorrow for my younger sisters and niece so that they too can have a strong, independent, sufficient woman as a role model.