Ashley Melo completed her Alfred University Master’s Degree in School Counseling through CITE. Recently, she caught up with Joshua Davis, our Alumni Coordinator:

How did you hear about CITE?  

Through a colleague at work that overheard I was planning on continuing my education through School Counseling.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a Dominican Yorker who was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. As an only child there was a lot of pressure put on me to “succeed”. I managed to prove those who thought I wouldn’t make it wrong, and was the first in my family to receive a Bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in 2010. I then got married and had 2 amazing children of my own. When I knew I wanted more for myself and children, I then pursued my Masters in Education, because my passion is to inspire youth. I was then the first again in my family to complete a Master’s degree in School Counseling through Alfred University with CITE in 2017. I don’t believe it will end educational-wise there for me; I still do have continued aspirations to be a School Leader one day, in the role of an Assistant Principal. However today, as a Single Mother of 2 and career-driven woman, I am proud of my accomplishments and I know that without my spiritual faith, it would’ve been impossible to attain. Therefore, I am now enjoying the fruits of my hard work. It has been a long journey thus far, but it does not stop here; I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and I am eager to take on what’s coming next.

What made you decide that CITE was the right fit for you?  

When I was told classes are just 1 day on the weekend! CITE fit perfectly for my family life and work schedule.

How was your CITE experience?  

Amazing! Went by very fast, I miss all my classmates and future colleagues in the field. And I can’t forget about my professors! I wouldn’t have had it any other way. CITE was my second family.

What is special about being a counselor? 

Everything! You will never be able to predict your day. Good luck on sticking to a plan! Being a counselor is exciting, risky, rewarding and life changing not only for you, but on others as well.

What’s difficult about being a counselor?  

The pressure of knowing that your words, actions and thoughts can affect your client. CITE taught us to listen diligently, always.

Is there a particular obstacle that you had to overcome while being a student?  

While being a CITE student I truly rediscovered my values, morals and passions for life itself. After my first year as a student I gained so much confidence, I felt powerful enough to finally relieve myself from an unhealthy marriage. Honestly, the support and confidence my peers gave me is priceless and today I stand strong and proud of the outcome and decisions I made. I believe if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be the counselor I am today.

Where/What are you doing now?  

Today I’m a Proud School Counselor at FDNY – Captain Vernon A. Richard High School located in the Thomas Jefferson Campus in Brooklyn, NY. Thomas Jefferson High School Campus is very special to me because it is the school that my mother graduated from in 1976 and the school that both she and my dad worked in while I was growing up. She had her Baby Shower for me in this school as well. I am a “Jeff Baby,” literally. My mother actually retired after 32 years working in the campus this June 2017. It is a blessing to continue my family’s legacy on this campus.

Tell us about your love/passion for Salsa.  

This just made me smile! I absolutely love the feeling Salsa music gives me. Hitting the dancefloor is my stress-reliever.

Are you happy with your overall investment?  

Absolutely! I wouldn’t have it any other way! CITE was the best experience I went through because it prepared me for my adulthood — choices and consequences. I have gained a team of supportive classmates, resources that leave me feeling confident and with all that an unlimited amount of networking opportunities for growth.

___________________

CITE is the Center for Integrated Teacher Education. For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early ChildhoodProfessional CertificationSpecial Ed,Grad CoursesBilingual coursesDASA); COUNSELORS (SchoolMental Health MastersAdvanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBLSDLPublic AdminDoctorate) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long Island.

We are proud to introduce our new Undergraduate Completion Program for adults – the same convenience, affordability, and quality you’ve come to expect from CITE partners, now for adults 25 years and older who want to gain the skills and degree to get their career launched. Learn more here.