Engaged Learning

USF Uncovered My #PassionForChange

Celebrate May - National Mental Health Month

by Charrin Kimble

I never intended on becoming a clinical psychologist. I never intended on working in the psychological field. And I originally had no intention of attending the University of San Francisco or applying to one of its doctoral programs.

Charrin Kimble National Mental Health Month

Growing up in a working-class neighborhood, I was focused on what career would allow me to have social upward mobility. I was focused on having a career that would secure the economic future of my family, but at the same time, I also wanted to help other people in my community that looked like me, be successful as well.

The dilemma was to find a career that served the economic needs of my family as well as the sociopolitical needs of my community.

As I started my journey in higher education, I was often the only African American woman in my classes. I had decided that I would do accounting because it would make me a lot of money and I could teach others how to make money.

The only problem was that career option was unfulfilling.
After a suggestion from a good friend, I explored changing my undergraduate major to psychology.

Once I completed my undergraduate degree, I began to look for graduate schools that fit the criteria I was looking for; to pursue a professional path that would allow me to take care of my family and enrich the lives of those around me.

I was looking for a university with professors that genuinely cared about their students’ success and equipped students to be leaders in their field. In addition, I looked for a university aligned with my social justice passion to create a world that was full of diversity, celebrated our differences, and fought for the voiceless and ignored. The University of San Francisco (USF) was that place for me. I began to base all of my educational decisions after the motto seen on all USF advertisements, "Change the world from here."

I want to do more than just lead, I want to change the world that I live in.

I believe USF principles of being an active, engaged learner, having a passion for social justice, to serving underserved communities, and becoming a leader in my field were enthusiastically fostered. Every practicum placement, course elective, my dissertation topic, and eventually my final doctoral internship were based on those guiding principles. I have intentionally chosen placements that would award me the skills needed to be a leader, that positions me at the forefront of shaping how mental health services are provided to reduce stigma, create more access, provide culturally sensitive interventions, quality, and affordable services to all income levels. My doctoral internship and dissertation are the last milestones needed to complete my doctorate in clinical psychology in 2019.

Well past graduation, "Change the world from here" will still be the words that inspire me to make this world a better place for my family and community at large.

I am committed to embodying the principles that set USF students apart from the rest.