|Erica Henry |
University of Houston-Victoria graduate student Erica Henry recently became the Texas Counseling Association’s newest award recipient after she wrote a grant for the organization’s Educational Endowment Fund.
The award from TCA allowed Henry, a Houston resident, to attend her first American School Counselor Association conference July 3 in Boston.
During the conference, Henry, who is getting a master’s degree in counseling, attended sessions with some of the top professionals in the world.
“This conference covered everything in counseling for all grade levels,” Henry said. “This was my first conference, and as a novice counselor, I want to learn as much as I can. Conferences like these are a great way to do that. They’re a great source for professional development, and I even got to meet counselors from other countries like Barbados and Canada.”
For the past six years, Henry has been a kindergarten teacher at Hicks Elementary School in Alief Independent School District. She said she always has been drawn to the elementary-school level of teaching.
“I get to work with the kids in the beginning when they are young,” she said. “To help lay down that foundation in reading, writing and math, that’s so important. But my goal is to be an elementary school counselor; that’s an opportunity to work with kids in all grade levels of the elementary system in a very different capacity.”
What draws Henry to counseling is the opportunity to provide a positive influence in the lives of her students, not just in the subjects they learn, but in their emotional, social and physical development, as well.
“Counselors are important because they’re the advocates for the children,” she said. “They have an influential role not only with the students, but with the parents, the school administrators and the community.”
In August, Henry will complete her final internship at Hicks Elementary, where she is teaching classroom guidance this summer. She said the schedule is rigorous, instructing 12 classes a day on topics such as listening and good decision making, but the opportunity to work with children in the classroom is well worth it.
Henry already completed a previous internship and a practicum. She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honors society for counselors; the American School Counselor Association; and the Texas Counseling Association. Henry graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in education and now attends classes at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, where UHV offers many of the programs.
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350