UHV mom has passion for helping children

Thelissa Edwards - Click for larger image...
Thelissa Edwards

Many moms are busy. But Thelissa Edwards takes the cake.

At 34, she is the mother to a 2-, 4- and 6-year-old, a loving wife, and she still manages to commute back and forth from Fresno to the University of Houston-Victoria while pursuing a degree in school psychology. She also serves on the executive board of the UHV chapter of Psi Chi, a national psychology honor society.

How does she do it?

“No sleep,” she said as she laughed. “No, really, I just do the best I can. I know that everything might not be ideal, but ultimately, things all work together for the best.”

Slated to graduate in May of 2012, Edwards found her passion while working with juvenile offenders in Harris County as a part of her program at UHV. Originally a counseling psychology major, her exposure to working with at-risk youth gave her a sense of purpose.

“Working with juvenile offenders, helping to facilitate healthy choices and character building, opened my eyes,” she said. “Some of the stories they had, it could have turned out differently if they had had different opportunities. I want to get my license in school psychology so I can advocate for students, give them support, provide a means of prevention and meet their needs. I can help them find options, and I feel I can do a lot of good, especially with at-risk students.”

Next year, Edwards will have an internship at a school district, and once she graduates, her hope is to pursue a doctorate or work in a school district.

Edwards added that one of her biggest interests in her field is cultural competence and addressing diversity and the needs of at-risk groups.

“I’m definitely interested in that research, and I’m getting my feet wet in that area,” she said. “It’s something I plan to continue looking into.”

The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler 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.