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Student Profile: Bianca Solorzano, Master’s in Guidance and Counseling
Bianca Solorzano works in the Highline School District and is a student in the Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling program here at City University of Seattle. She graciously agreed to a student profile, and had some wonderful insights based on her experience in the program.
City University of Seattle (CU): What program are you currently enrolled in at CityU?
Bianca Solorzano (BS): I’m in the Masters of Education, Guidance and Counseling program, in the Aqua Cohort.
CU: Can you tell us a little more about your background?
BS: I have a double major (Criminal Justice and Sociology) from Washington State University and graduated with the class of 2005. This my 6th year as a Site Manager for a non-profit organization, Community Schools Collaboration in the Highline School District. I absolutely adore my students and learn so much from them each and every day!
Growing up I wanted to be a Juvenile Probation Officer, but my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) made it challenging to meet the physical demands of that job. I worked for Big Brothers, Big Sisters for three years, where I fell in love with youth services and realized how important it is for our young people to have positive and encouraging adults in their lives.
CU: So what led you to enroll at City University of Seattle?
BS: Getting my masters was always a personal goal I set for myself. At the time of my enrollment, I felt ready to invest my time and my life to my education. As a full time professional, I needed a program that aligned with my schedule. I knew I didn’t want to go to school after working all day so having the option to go to school during the weekends was very beneficial for me! It’s a tough decision to make to give up your weekends for two years, but it had to be done and I would not have been as successful any other way.
CU: What’s your experience at CityU been like so far – what’s good, what’s great, what might you have done differently if you could go back and start over?
BS: Being a grad student at CityU has been a satisfying experience. I didn’t know what to expect going in. I knew it was going to be a challenge but with the partnership, motivation, and strength I receive from my cohort and professors, I was given the tools necessary to keep pushing myself.
I’ve learned so much from all of the faculty. They are amazing individuals with such wisdom and passion for what they do. The discussions we’ve had are one of a kind. They have let us express ourselves in ways that are so valuable and meaningful to a learning environment. It’s hard to believe but I actually looked forward to class time on Saturdays. In class we have shared endless laughter, intellectual discussions, challenging perspectives, raw emotions, tears, love, and so many memories!
Being a part of the Aqua Cohort has absolutely been one of my favorite gifts I’ve received from CityU. I remember our first class. Our professor Ms. Nita Hill asked us to get in a circle and share what we were feeling at the moment and I remember holding in my tears because I was terrified. I was scared and felt overwhelmed, but after we shared our feelings with each other I never again felt alone.
CU: Was your degree something you felt you needed to obtain in order to take a professional step forward?
BS: Definitely. Not only was it a personal goal but it was also something I needed to accomplish in order to pursue my career plans of becoming a School Counselor.
CU: What do you envision is going to be your biggest challenge after graduation? How are you planning on addressing those challenges?
BS: To be honest, I don’t foresee any big challenges after graduation. This is an exciting time in my life where I believe I have put in the time and have done all of the work I feel necessary to prepare myself for a rewarding career in serving our students to be the best of who they can/want/don’t know they be. As a new School Counselor it will take time to build relationships but I don’t necessarily see that as a challenge but more of an opportunity!
CU: Do you have any advice for future students who might be traveling the same path you are?
BS: Take it one day at a time. The workload is fast and furious but you’re much bigger than that! If it wasn’t challenging it wouldn’t be rewarding. Enjoy!
If you’d like to share your story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.