Post college, I was unsure what career to pursue, so I spent two years in the US Peace Corps in South Korea as an English teacher, originally assigned to a middle school in Daegu, later serving as a regional English as a Second Language instructor for Korean English teachers. Upon returning to Colorado, I went to work for King Soopers and made my way to service department management and regional training positions. After 15 years, I determined to move into a public service career, so I returned to school, at UCCS, and gained a Masters degree in public administration. In 1997 I was awarded the honor of "Graduate Student of the Year" by the UCCS School of Public Affairs upon my graduation. I then went directly to work for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office creating a stand alone jobs-based transitional program for inmates of the county jail called Gateway Through the Rockies in an effort to mitigate the conditions that often result in recidivism and reincarceration. I directed the Gateway Program for 5 years before moving on to the Pikes Peak Workforce Center where I became director of Adult Programs and oversaw federal training grants for underemployed and laid off workers. I ultimately concluded my working years by serving as a Vocational Specialist for transitioning inmates at ComCor, a halfway house in Colorado Springs, and retiring in 2015.
In summary, I like to say that I became career and vocational counselor largely because I was so unsure of my own career direction that I determined to tell others what they should do! It was a rewarding path, serving incarcerated and otherwise needy individuals in the Colorado Springs region.