Nykesha White was inspired to become a professional counselor after going to counseling herself. During college she found herself struggling with many of the same issues the students she works with face today.
“I went to counseling the first time when I was about the age of our students, when I was just starting college.” she said. “I was having some emotional issues I didn’t necessarily know how to handle. I didn’t have the emotional capacity or the tools that I needed to handle those things and be a student.
“Therapy was just such a blessing to me. I wanted to be a help to other people in the same way that I was helped.”
White received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, before getting her Master of Science in counseling from the University of Memphis. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), national certified counselor (NCC) and is currently working on her doctorate in psychology through the University of Arizona Global Campus.
Counseling In Education
Today, White is a professional counselor at Mountain View Campus as part of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team. Nykesha and the rest of the CAPS counselors provide Dallas College students with free psychological counseling to help them work through any issues that might be affecting them academically.
“We try to be there for them and support them in the best way we can,” said White.
Before being hired at Dallas College, White started her career working in mental health facilities. She then transitioned into education, working for K-12 school districts for 10 years.
But after being in K-12 for so long, she decided she needed a change. “I decided I wanted to return to higher education and continue to provide therapy.”
Growth and Change
Mental health services are especially important in higher education because college is such a time of transition for students, White explained.
“They’re transitioning from being a high school student to a college student and then also the transition from being a teenager to an adult. It’s just a lot of uncertainty for them.”
Supporting students during this time of change and uncertainty is what White loves most about her role at Dallas College. She also sees students who are dealing with many of the same issues she sought help for as a college student.
“I worked all the way through college and so I was balancing and juggling a lot, and a lot of our students have that same story.”
“There are a lot of other things they’re dealing with besides just being a student. And so, I feel like in my role, I’m able to give back to students that are walking the same road that I did.”
She also loves seeing the progress students make in counseling. She sees where they are when they first arrive in her office and how they’ve grown when they no longer need counseling services.
“I love seeing the growth and the change in them,” she said.
White wants to encourage all students to take advantage of the counseling services provided at Dallas College if they haven’t. After all, she knows firsthand the benefits of therapy for college students.
“We have well qualified counselors here to support you.”
This story and others like it can be found in the Student Newsletter. Check your Dallas College email to see the latest edition.