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Veronica Becerra

5515

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Finalist

Bio

My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a 23 year old Hispanic first-generation college student. Currently, I am in the process of pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus in Art Therapy at Edinboro University. Upon graduating next year, I am going to work hard so that I can someday establish a nonprofit organization in order to make mental health services more accessible to minorities, and lower-income families within the local community. With so much uncertainty surfacing in lieu of the COVID pandemic, the mental health field has become overwhelmed with so many new patients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and grief. While pursuing my degree, I have unfortunately lost my grandmother and cousin as a result of the pandemic. Although continuing through my education has been difficult, I have managed to stay focused on excelling in all of my courses so that I can achieve this dream in memory of them. Like many others, we are all experiencing a time of fear, confusion, and in some cases emptiness from a loss. However, we are not alone, since we are all navigating through these obstacles together. As an individual who has been personally impacted by COIVD19, I can honestly say that mental health and support during the time of isolation is a crucial aspect of healing. Through both art therapy and counseling, I am determined to dedicate the rest of my life to working with victims of trauma to help them nonverbally express their challenges, increase their self-awareness, and guide them on the path of healing and recovery.

Education

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Master's degree program
2020 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor's degree program
- 2018
  • Majors:
    • Graphic Communications
  • Minors:
    • Fine and Studio Arts

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Clinical Mental Health Counselor

    • Supplemental Instruction Leader (SIL) and Academic Success Coach (ASC)

      Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
      2020 – Present4 years

    Sports

    Brazilian jiu jitsu

    Present

    Research

    • Social Sciences, General

      2017 State System Summit Inclusive Excellence and International Education program — Presenter and Public Speaker
      2017 – 2017

    Arts

    • Truth Initiative

      Visual Arts
      https://www.phillytrib.com/metros/cheyney-recognizes-winning-design-tobacco-free-goal/article_3f8b90c0-63d6-5478-99da-4fb5a79a1b65.html
      2016 – 2017

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Tap Cancer Out — Fundraiser and Tournament fighter
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Philadelphia Department of Corrections — Assisted psychologist in daily duties
      2019 – 2019
    • Advocacy

      Lift Up! Namibia Inc. — Fundraising Coordinator for Nonprofit Organization
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Safe Harbor of Chester County (Domestic Violence Center) Non-profit — Helped facilitate group counseling and art activities within the center for adults and children. Helped clients develop short term action plans that focused on addressing needs, rebuilding self-esteem, and developing a sense of personalized independence.
      2018 – 2018

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    If someone were to tell me five years ago that I would be the first person in my family to go to college and continue my education into a graduate program, I would have thought that they were crazy. But life is full of surprises and through meeting new people, an individual’s direction in life can change. My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty-three-year-old Hispanic first-generation college student. My academic journey began a few years ago when I was accepted at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first Historically Black College University. I worked hard and sacrificed everything to attend so that I could earn a degree in graphic design. I thought that I could leave my mark on the world through this career, but little did I know that I would find a new path that led away from the original trail that I had set for myself. While I was a student at Cheyney University, I was introduced to my advisor Dr. Marietta Dantonio Madsen, she was a community leader who was determined to help others. She saw my passion for community service and mentored me on how to conduct large-scale community healing art programs. Our projects focused on community engagement and addressed different topics like; racism, the impact of multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. She encouraged me to stand up for what I believe in and speak out for those who couldn’t advocate for themselves. These projects ultimately connected the students and the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. I was genuinely amazed how art allowed students to non-verbally express their struggles while providing a creative outlet for healing. I felt so grateful to be able to help others heal their traumas through this line of work. As my interest in the healing arts and mental health grew, I began volunteering at numerous community and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Non-profit Women's Shelter, I began helping therapists facilitate group counseling and various art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. After working with a young mother for about a week, she thanked me and another counselor for taking the time to be present with her during her darkest moments. She said that through our efforts she found the strength to continue to battle her depression and find the will to live. I was stunned. I never thought that what I was doing could impact someone to that extent and ultimately save a life. Through this experience, my eyes were opened, and I came to the realization that in order to do more for others I needed to become more as an individual and a leader. It was at that moment when I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to serving others. I made it my long-term goal to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible and affordable to minorities and lower-income families within the community. Currently, I am a 4.0 graduate student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. Although it will take time and hard work to accomplish this goal, through this path I am determined to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    Service has always been an incredibly important aspect of my life, and I am determined to give back to my community. Currently, I am in the second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My long-term goal is to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. I am determined to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. In order to give back to my community, I have volunteered at various community nonprofit organizations and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. All in all, these community projects have provided me with the unique experience of learning how to effectively coordinate groups and connect with others. As I continue to work towards graduation, I am learning the necessary skills to be able to run my own successful nonprofit organization. Although it will take time and hard work, I am determined to achieve this goal in order to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    If someone were to tell me five years ago that I would be the first person in my family to go to college and continue my education into a graduate program, I would have thought that they were crazy. But life is full of surprises and through meeting new people, an individual’s direction in life can change. My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty-three-year-old Hispanic first-generation college student. My academic journey began a few years ago when I was accepted at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first Historically Black College University. I worked hard and sacrificed everything to attend so that I could earn a degree in graphic design. I thought that I could leave my mark on the world through this career, but little did I know that I would find a new path that led away from the original trail that I had set for myself. While I was a student at Cheyney University, I was introduced to my advisor Dr. Marietta Dantonio Madsen, she was a community leader who was determined to help others. She saw my passion for community service and mentored me on how to conduct large-scale community healing art programs. Our projects focused on community engagement and addressed different topics like; racism, the impact of multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. She encouraged me to stand up for what I believe in and speak out for those who couldn’t advocate for themselves. These projects ultimately connected the students and the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. I was genuinely amazed how art allowed students to non-verbally express their struggles while providing a creative outlet for healing. I felt so grateful to be able to help others heal their traumas through this line of work. As my interest in the healing arts and mental health grew, I began volunteering at numerous community and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Non-profit Women's Shelter, I began helping therapists facilitate group counseling and various art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. After working with a young mother for about a week, she thanked me and another counselor for taking the time to be present with her during her darkest moments. She said that through our efforts she found the strength to continue to battle her depression and find the will to live. I was stunned. I never thought that what I was doing could impact someone to that extent and ultimately save a life. Through this experience, my eyes were opened, and I came to the realization that in order to do more for others I needed to become more as an individual and a leader. It was at that moment when I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to serving others. I made it my long-term goal to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible and affordable to minorities and lower-income families within the community. Currently, I am a 4.0 graduate student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. Although it will take time and hard work to accomplish this goal, through this path I am determined to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    Service has always been an incredibly important aspect of my life, and I am determined to give back to my community. Currently, I am in the second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My long-term goal is to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. I am determined to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. In order to give back to my community, I have volunteered at various community nonprofit organizations and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. All in all, these community projects have provided me with the unique experience of learning how to effectively coordinate groups and connect with others. As I continue to work towards graduation, I am learning the necessary skills to be able to run my own successful nonprofit organization. Although it will take time and hard work, I am determined to achieve this goal in order to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Bold Make Your Mark Scholarship
    Service has always been an incredibly important aspect of my life, and I am determined to give back to my community. Currently, I am in the second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My long-term goal is to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. I am determined to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. In order to give back to my community, I have volunteered at various community nonprofit organizations and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. All in all, these community projects have provided me with the unique experience of learning how to effectively coordinate groups and connect with others. As I continue to work towards graduation, I am learning the necessary skills to be able to run my own successful nonprofit organization. Although it will take time and hard work, I am determined to achieve this goal in order to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Shine Your Light College Scholarship
    My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty three year old first-generation Hispanic college student. Service has always been an incredibly important aspect of my life and through my degree, I am determined to give back to my community. Currently, I am in the second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My long-term goal is to graduate and open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. I am determined to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. In order to give back to my community, I have worked on numerous healing arts projects that addressed topics of, multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. These projects ultimately connected the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. Through these opportunities, I was able to help students and Native Americans channel self-expression through art which allowed them to vocalize the many injustices that they have endured. I felt so grateful to be able to help others heal their traumas through this line of work. These art projects allow people to come together regardless of their past traumas, mental conditions, medical diagnoses, and culture, in order to tell a story and create something beautiful. These projects provide a safe place to explore emotions and connect with others and meet new people. As my interest in the areas of healing arts and mental health grew, I began volunteering at various community nonprofit organizations and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. All in all, these community projects have provided me with the unique experience of learning how to effectively coordinate groups and connect with others. Currently, I work at Cheyney University as an Academic Success Coach. For the past two years, I have been helping minorities and at-risk students within the Cheyney Academic Retention Enrichment & Success (CARES) program. I have been working with them to overcome academic difficulties and develop better life habits through goal setting and developing time management skills. As a previous graduate from this institution, I am able to better relate to students and have them learn from my own mistakes. As I continue to work towards graduation, I am learning the necessary skills to be able to run my own successful nonprofit organization. Although it will take time and hard work, I am determined to achieve this goal in order to make a lasting positive impact on the community and hopefully someday the world.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    Many times, when people think of giving, they picture the act of giving money or exchanging gifts. For me, the gift of giving one’s time is just as precious and special. Giving is so important to me because it can leave a lasting impact that continues to have a positive effect on others long after the deed is done. It is an action that can change the world. In order to give back to my local community, I have worked on numerous healing arts projects that focused on addressing topics of multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. These projects ultimately connected the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. I was able to help students and Native Americans channel self-expression through art which allowed them to vocalize the many injustices that they have endured. Additionally, through the nonprofit organization, Lift Up Namibia, I volunteered as a fundraising coordinator to help collect school materials to support a school in Africa. Another way that I give is through volunteering at various community and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. All in all these community projects ultimately brought people together and through the act of giving, they left a lasting positive impact on the community and the world.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty three year old Hispanic first-generation college student. Currently, I hold a 4.0GPA and I am in my second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Service has always been an incredibly important aspect of my life and through my degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I am determined to give back to my community. Throughout my life, I have worked on numerous community healing arts projects that focused on addressing topics of multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. These projects ultimately connected the students and the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. I was able to help students and Native Americans channel self-expression through art which allowed them to vocalize the many injustices that they have endured. As my interest in the areas of healing arts and mental health grew, I began volunteering at various community and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. At the Paoli Hospital, I worked with cancer patients to help them overcome depression and reconnect with their family members despite their physical ailments and terminal diagnoses. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. Currently, I am scheduled to begin my practicum at the “Center for Trauma Stress and Anxiety” next month. Upon graduating, I am going to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty three year old first-generation Hispanic college student. Currently, I am in the second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My goal is to graduate and someday open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. While I was an undergraduate student at Cheyney university studying Graphic Design and fine arts, I was introduced to Dr. Marietta Dantonio Madsen who was a faculty member and art therapist. She encouraged me to stand up for what I believe in and speak out for those who can advocate for themselves. Together we worked on many community healing arts projects that focused on addressing topics of multigenerational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. These projects ultimately connected the students and the community together to display a new perspective and to help raise awareness about societal injustices. I was genuinely amazed how art allowed students to non-verbally express their struggles while providing a creative outlet for healing. I felt so grateful to be able to help others heal their traumas through this line of work. I was able to help students channel self-expression through art which allowed them to vocalize the many injustices that they have endured in their lives. It was through multiple community outreach programs where my eyes truly opened to see a deeper need for healing and the importance of mental health. As my interest in the areas of healing arts and mental health grew, I began volunteering at various community and counseling centers. At the Safe Harbor of Chester County Women’s Shelter, I started helping counselors facilitate group counseling and art therapy activities with both mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, I also assisted Dr. Lynda Albert with running her weekly Anger Management group with inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. Through these experiences, my eyes were opened, and I came to the realization that in order to do more for others I needed to become more as an individual and a leader. Although I did not have the financial support from my family to get a master's degree, I was determined to achieve my long-term goal of helping others heal through counseling and art. I applied to a part-time position as an Academic Success Coach through Cheyney University, where I was tasked with helping minorities and at-risk students within the Cheyney Academic Retention Enrichment & Success (CARES) program. I am currently working to help them overcome academic difficulties and develop better life habits through goal setting and developing time management skills. I feel honored to be able to share my knowledge with the next generation of college students. Currently, I am a second-year student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a 4.0 GPA. I still work part-time at Cheyney University while being a full-time graduate student. I am scheduled to begin my practicum at the “Center for Trauma Stress and Anxiety” next month (January 2022). I have also been taking specific college courses in grant writing and program development in preparation to begin the process of starting my own organization after I graduate in August of 2022. Through my efforts, I hope that my hard work inspires my younger siblings and the students that I am currently working with at Cheyney University to pursue their dreams despite the many challenges that they may face. Originally when I started college as an undergraduate, I had never thought that my life would be pulled in this direction. I was an artist who just wanted to help others. Through forming relationships with my professors and community leaders, I was able to make a positive change in the environment. I was encouraged to grow and follow a new path of becoming a counselor. As I continue to connect with those who are in the processing of healing, I have discovered my life's purpose. Upon graduating, I will dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. By raising awareness of mental health, I will be able to continue to share my knowledge with others. Through the fields of both counseling and art, I will continue to grow my passion for making the world a better place and create a lasting legacy that continues to make a positive impact on the community long after I am gone.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    My name is Veronica Lynn Becerra. I am a twenty three year old first-generation college student. Currently, I am in my second year of my graduate program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and also taking courses to obtain my Art Therapy certification as well. My goal is to graduate and someday open my own nonprofit counseling organization in order to help make mental health services more accessible to the community. While I was an undergraduate student at Cheyney university studying Graphic Design and fine arts, I was introduced to Dr. Marietta Dantonio Madsen who was a faculty member and art therapist. During this time she invited me to assist her in many healing arts programs. Many of these projects focused on addressing topics such as generational trauma, domestic violence, and equal rights. I was able to help work with students on channeling self-expression and vocalizing the many injustices that they have experienced in their lives. It was through community outreach programs where my eyes truly opened to see a deeper need for healing and the importance of mental health. Not long after, I began volunteering at various community centers to assist psychologists and therapists with running various healing arts and mental health programs. I assisted at Safe Harbor of Chester County Non-profit (Domestic Violence Center) where I helped facilitate group counseling and art activities with both adult and children populations. I also assisted Dr. Albert in running her weekly Anger Management group and implementing various interventions to prevent self-harm at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons House of Corrections. Through these experiences, I decided to work on myself by going back to school and expanding my knowledge so that I can be of greater service to more people in need. Currently, I am a second-year student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a 4.0 GPA. I still work part-time at Cheyney University while I pursue a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy. I begin my internship starting in May and I am scheduled to graduate in August of 2022. Upon graduating, I am going to dedicate my life to providing my services at a discounted rate to minorities and lower-income families within the local area so that more people can receive the support they need. By raising awareness of mental health, I will be able to continue to share my knowledge with others and make a positive difference in my community.