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What are some good clubs to join if you are a aspiring therapist (major in sociology)?

I am currently a sophomore in high school (private) that does not offer a lot for the studies I want to pursue. I am hoping to join clubs outside of my school (tri-state area) that focus around sociology, can anyone suggest any clubs for me to join?

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Wendy’s Answer

Great question! I highly recommend joining the national honor Society when you’re in high school as it will give you lots of experience with giving back to the community organizing, and leadership skills all needed for the field of social work and study of sociology. I also encourage you to explore dual enrollment with local community colleges and take courses that can beapplied to both your high school and college transcript. Your school counselor should be able to guide you through this process as it relates to your high school community colleges provide the opportunity for high school students to take college courses while they’re in high school.

Wendy recommends the following next steps:

National Honor Society
Apply to take courses at local community college
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Summer
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June’s Answer

I am excited for you to pursue your future plans. One thing I would suggest that would be a great learning experience to both you and your school community is to bring some volunteer Community Service opportunities to your school. By that I mean, make a phone call or reach out in person to your local food bank, library or other service that you could form a relationship with and help out.
In my experience working as a high school counselor, I found volunteer services were very meaningful and allowed each of us to learn and grow from each other.
A couple of examples of volunteer services we did were, reaching out to Kids Food Basket ( our county wide food source for children). We knew we couldn’t arrange transportation to their facility, so we asked the question, what can we do at our school to support this initiative? We found we could be of service by decorating the lunch bags that the food is packaged in and delivered. This might not sound like much…but what a difference it made. Over 2000 lunch bags are used each day…so us helping with this was HUGE for them. Plus the students who helped with this project formed their own “club” and connected with each other while helping others.
I would suggest you take the lead on this and invite someone from your Food Bank to come to your school and meet with all of you and explain the origins and importance of the Food Bank and how everyone can play a part to make our world a better place.
One more successful idea that you could initiate is to connect with an elementary school nearby your school and form a monthly “Read to Me” group. Younger students are always impressed with older students and the relationships that are formed are sometimes life changing. ***I encourage you to create your own “club of volunteers”
Thank you comment icon Thank You so much, this advice was very useful, and I will definitely be using it soon. Summer
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Summer !

It's great that you seem very motivated and know what you would like to pursue as a career ! That's the first step. Motivation and inspiration !

If you'd like to get a head start on a goal of being a psycho-therapist, I would suggest courses in psychology if your private high school offers them. Although Sociology is very important for studying groups of people, therapists need to study specific theories and techniques as well as history of the field in order to gain a strong foundation for advanced study in college. In college, you could very well major in psychology and minor in sociology. Another option is to get an Associates degree in Sociology and Bachelors in Psychology. That is the option my sister chose but than she got a Masters in Social Work, too. This leads to the path of working in the mental health field and doing psychotherapy with patients. She also worked in the Tri-State area as well.

It would be difficult to find clubs connected to mental health, but all is not lost. You could contact any number of social services agencies in your town and inquire about volunteer opportunities. There may be some after school programs that you can volunteer for or peer counseling that you can do. When I was in high school, I volunteered as a peer counselor and it was an experience that told me that was something I wanted to do in the future. I did basic situational counseling to patients my own age. I was fortunate that they allowed me to do direct services with the clients but things may be different these days, but it doesn't hurt to see what opportunities are out there. You will need to be around the environment at least to get an idea of how services are run and what the patients, clients and staff are like. They will teach you.

I've provided a link to the social services in Edison below. You might want to go in person and introduce yourself and inquire about volunteer work. Inquire about the level of work that you could be involved in. There are also opportunities to volunteer at nursing homes as well as hospitals but you will have to read websites and make some phone calls to get the exact information.

Speak with the administrators and teachers at your current school and see about whether or not you could begin a mental health and wellness club at your school. This would be awesome because you could get a first hand leadership experience. To introduce you to psychology, do searches on the internet for free classes and never forget sociology, too, as the two subjects go hand in hand.

If you plan to have a career as a therapist you might want to take English and writing, Communications classes and Statistics while you are in high school. These are skills that go along with being a therapist and you will have the grasp of it before your reach college. I know English is required in high school, but take any writing classes that may be offered, too.

Sorry that I am not suggesting exactly what you wanted, but Sociology is a subject, not a club, and if it is experience that you want I think it will happen through volunteer work and perhaps employment. Read a lot about different nationalities, religions, socio-economic groups, and you will get an idea and knowledge as well as being around various people with different backgrounds. I think you will have a beneficial experience in mostly anything you do, but recognize the opportunities and go for it !

I hope this was helpful and wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

SOCIAL SERVICES IN EDISON FOR VOLUNTEER WORK https://www.yellowpages.com/edison-nj/social-service-organizations
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Summer
Thank you comment icon I am very happy to have shared some advice with you, Summer ! Michelle Marotta
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Rian’s Answer

Hi Summer,
This may not be a course but I would recommend reaching out to volunteering at a local crisis hotline. Often time those organizations have training courses that anyone can take, regardless of if they plan on volunteering or not. That can help you get a better gauge of certain jobs out there as well as give you some training to feel more comfortable in whatever situation arises.

Best of luck to you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Summer
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