Self-care and time management helped Hodges alumna Jamie
Carioggia work through the challenges of being employed full time and going to
school. Attempting to find a balance, it was her professors and classmates who
helped her push through and ultimately earn two degrees from Hodges University.
“Psychology has been interesting to me since high school,
and I wanted to learn all I could so I could help others,” said Carioggia.
Growing up attending school in Fort Myers, Florida,
Carioggia was looking for a school to fit her needs – earning a degree while being
able to work. Researching Hodges, she knew the small class sizes and flexible
schedule would provide her the experience she needed.
“The classes were flexible and teachers understood we were
all working as well as going to school. I also liked the idea of getting more individualized
attention from the professors because I saw many people get lost in the shuffle
at public colleges,” she said.
Enrolling in the Bachelor of Science in applied psychology
program in 2007, she worked hard to maintain her grades and establish connections
with faculty and her peers. Joining the Psychology Club, she helped facilitate
a drive to collect used cellphones, which were donated to the Women and
Children’s Abuse Shelter. “We ended up receiving close to 100 cell phones,” she
said. Her diligence and hard work paid off when she was recognized as one of
Hodges’ Students of the Year in 2009, saying, “I was incredibly honored and
surprised by the whole experience.”
Graduating in 2010 with her bachelor’s degree, she took a
few years off to work in the field. From November 2011 to January 2014, she
worked at Lee Mental Health as an emergency services clinician. In her
position, she strengthened her skills in assessment and diagnosis, insurance
authorization, treatment planning and crisis support.
In November 2012, she joined the David Lawrence Center as a
mental health clinician, and while gaining valuable, professional experience,
Carioggia knew that in order to achieve her real dream of becoming a therapist
she needed to return to school. Exploring other schools to see what options
were available, she decided to return to Hodges, saying, “I chose Hodges
University again because of the great experience I had in my undergrad.”
Enrolling in the Master of Science in clinical mental health
counseling program in 2013, it was a natural fit due to her professional
experience and future career aspirations. “I chose mental health counseling
because I had been working in the field already and enjoyed helping others. I wanted
to further my career and become a therapist,” she said.
Working closely with Dr. [Tom] Hofmann, Dr. [Mary] Nuosce
and Dr. [Ali] Wolf, she struggled to find a balance between working full time,
going to school and participating in her internship; however, she credits them
for helping her through the difficult times, as well as their efforts to help
her become the counselor she is today.
One month prior to graduating with her clinical mental
health counseling degree in June 2016, she moved into the position of lead
clinician with the David Lawrence Center providing clinical assessments, as
well as training new staff members. However, the opportunity to take her
education and professional experience elsewhere opened up in November 2016.
Growing up in Florida, she wanted to experience something different and expand
her horizons, so she moved to Boulder, Colorado, to serve as an emergency
services clinician with Mental Health Partners.
“I do evaluations and assessments on individuals in crisis
and determine their level of care whether it be hospitalization or just linking
with services. I enjoy working with those who are in crisis and helping them
overcome their own obstacles,” she explained.
Using many of the tools and concepts from her clinical
mental health counseling courses, Carioggia understands the difficulties that
can come with the profession. Working with individuals who are suffering
mentally and/or physically, she admits, “They can definitely take a toll on
your own mental health.” However, Carioggia uses her work as a reminder of how
important it is to take care of oneself.
As she continues to build her career as a therapist,
assisting and helping others overcome their own struggles, she firmly believes
her success is due to the experience she received at Hodges. “The education I
received at Hodges had a huge impact on my career and helped me to become a
successful counselor. It helped me achieve my personal and professional goals. Without
my education, I would not be where I am today,” she said.