From time to time, we will feature various students at CIIS so people can get a glimpse of student life here. We are pleased to bring you our second installment of student profiles! We had the chance to ask Jesus Solorio a few questions about his experiences in the CMH program at CIIS. Enjoy!
What drew you to the Community Mental Health Program? What kinds of life experiences made you feel that this was a path you should choose?
I had been thinking about graduate school in the psychology field for years and was looking for a program that appreciated the complexities of our social context (oppression issues, race issues, cultural issues, etc.). I have spent years working around structural issues in the education field and more recently I was drawn to work supporting individuals on a one on one basis.
What kind of work were you doing before you came to CIIS and CMH?
I have been working in the education field for over 15 years in various capacities. I have been a Teacher’s Assistant, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator (at an elementary school), Community Organizer, Researcher and Technical Assistance Provider. Most recently I was the Associate Director at a nonprofit organization that focuses on equity issues in the education field.
What do you plan to do when you finish up your time at CIIS?
I hope to eventually be in a position where I can work with young Latino men that are struggling with violence issues where I can provide emotional, psychological and spiritual support. I want to explore the cycles of violence that our youth are faced with everyday and work with them on getting themselves out of these patterns.
What was life at CIIS like when you first arrived? What did you wish you knew that perhaps you could pass on to new and incoming students?
CIIS is a small school and the administration departments are small as well. Sometimes it can take a while to get questions answered and so forth. Patience and perseverance go a long way.
Favorite midnight snack?
Right now it’s the “ginger no cookie cookie”.