I had never been to a dissertation defense presentation before and it was a surreal experience. As I watched my Niece deliver her presentation to the panel, I realized why only 2% of the population have PhDs! It's hard work and few have the focus and determination to commit to such a challenging endeavor. I listened intently as she spoke passionately about her research and how the results helped shape her thoughts on how to treat her patients in the future. I think her research helped her understand why she chose her profession, or more importantly, it showed her why her profession chose her!
My Niece had every reason to curl up and let her circumstances dictate her life. She had to overcome serious health issues and family tragedy, but through sheer determination and much Prayer, she was able to stay focused and on course to achieve her goals. Hard work does not guarantee success, but failure is a given if you don't work hard! My Niece made failure a non-factor as she walked boldly into her calling. She realized the many obstacles she faced were simply teachable moments that would help her in the future. Yes, there were dark days of self-doubt and frustration, but that's when she had to lean on her support group; the Village of people who had been placed in her life to get her through the rough patches of her journey. The family and close friends that she had nurtured and unconditionally supported in the past, returned the favor and were there for her when she needed them most. A kind word, a non-judgmental ear, sharing a cup of coffee (Starbucks of course) or just a shoulder to cry on were the gestures she needed to provide the light to navigate through her challenging times.
Some are called to dedicate their lives to serving others. It's a unique call that few get and even fewer answer! My Niece has answered the call and has even taken the extra step to rise to the top of her profession. Earning a PhD means you not only know the how but most importantly you understand the why of your profession. It means you have earned the title of Doctor, and while my Niece does not need a title in front of her name to tell us how special she is, Doctor Bianca Goodrum does have a nice ring to it!!
Congratulations "Dr B" on earning your PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, you done good and have made your Village proud.