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Intellect

Helping her own challenged children leads BYU student on unique journey

Utah Association of School Psychologists names her graduate student of the year

In 1975, Brenda Wesson graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Thirty-one years later she is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education within the McKay School of Education.

Wesson’s long and unusual road to a graduate degree has paid dividends as she has been named the Utah Association of School Psychologists Graduate Student of the Year.

Always interested in the social sciences and working with youth, Wesson became interested in returning to school after several years of collaborating with school personnel to help her own children. Two of her five children have faced challenges in school: one was in an automobile accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, and the other was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

“When I decided to go back to school, I knew I wanted to work with teenagers,” Wesson said. “The courses offered in school psychology most closely matched my interests.”

After graduating next August, Wesson plans to integrate her interests in school psychology and counseling by working with teenagers in a court-ordered residential treatment program. Additionally, she will work as Payson Middle School’s school psychologist.

“This award has been a wonderful confirmation that even students who have come back to school after raising a family can be successful and make worthwhile contributions,” she said.

To be eligible to receive the award, graduate students must be in an approved program, not yet credentialed as a school psychologist and show exemplary performance in their course work, practicum and internship.

Writer: Rosanna Johnso

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