It pays to help a friend in need. It strengthens bonds, builds trust and, ultimately, makes someone’s day that much better.
For University of Houston-Victoria sophomore Chanae Middlebrooks, the good deed came with yet another benefit: inspiration for a future career.
“It was when I was listening to my friends, helping them with their problems, that I realized what I wanted to do,” the psychology major said. “I loved what I was doing and knew I wanted to help others.”
Middlebrooks, 20, plans to go in to sex therapy after graduation. In that capacity, she hopes to help couples lead happy, healthy relationships through counseling sessions, yoga-type classes and other helpful exercises.
Her long-term career goal is to perform psychiatric work with the police force.
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in,” she said. “I think I could be good at it.”
Middlebrooks was born and raised in Ohio, but she relocated to San Antonio during her teenage years. She graduated from Winston Churchill High School before deciding to enroll at UHV.
Although she lived on campus in Victoria during her freshman year, she later returned to San Antonio, where she takes online courses while balancing two jobs.
The hectic schedule is demanding, she admitted, but manageable. All it takes is some planning.
“I just have to set aside time to do what I need to do,” Middlebrooks said. “I don’t work on weekends, so I do schoolwork then. It works out.”
She encouraged other busy students to remain focused and avoid letting anything get in the way. Study groups help, as well as being around other students working toward their goals. “You have to continue on,” she said. “Once you lose that drive, it’s gone.”
Although she is a couple of years away from her bachelor’s degree, Middlebrooks already is planning on obtaining a master’s degree and maybe a doctorate.
“I’ll keep going in school,” she said. “There’s always more to learn.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.