Student sets goal to become psychologist, help children dealing with divorce

Brittany Merritt

The saying goes that people should turn lemons into lemonade when faced with life’s obstacles, but University of Houston-Victoria junior Brittany Merritt took that one step further.

She’s turning those lemons into a full-fledged career.

Merritt was a young child when her parents divorced. And, although the experience itself was difficult, she did find some positives as the process went on.

“I realized that the legal aspect intrigued me,” she said. “I hadn’t really thought about law before that, but I knew I wanted to do something along those lines.”

And that wasn’t all.

Looking back, Merritt said she wished someone had been available to help her understand just what was going on throughout the divorce proceedings and how to cope. That led her to begin looking into a career as a clinical psychologist.

Through her position as a paralegal, the 21-year-old got to know Bay City attorneys and found the region could use her services.

“Bay City only has two clinical psychologists,” she explained. “I want to give back and do what I can to help kids going through that.”

Now, Merritt is working toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences with a concentration in legal assistance and administration, and has hopes of continuing on to become a clinical psychologist.

She might find herself working diligently for her goals now, but that attitude is nothing new. She said she’s always been a hard worker.

The Bay City native graduated from Van Vleck High School in 2007, a year early. She obtained her associate degree before moving on to study at UHV.

Although class can sometimes be overwhelming, she looks forward to her next semesters in school and continuing her studies after graduation.

Merritt advised other students to work hard for what they want in life, no matter what.

“Don’t let others deter you in your hopes and dreams,” she said. “Even if you reach a closed door, keep going. It’s worth the hard work.”

The UHV Outstanding Student 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.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342