Remmy Kulsum is a graduate of our Alfred University School Counseling Master’s Program. He currently works as a School Counselor for the Newport Lion Middle School. Recently, our Alumni Coordinator, Joshua Davis, caught up with Remmy to ask about his professional journey.
How did you hear about the Alfred University School counseling Master’s Program?
I was working as a substitute teacher at PS/IS 184 when I ran into a teacher who was attending CITE. I asked her about the program and it sounded great and the school schedule was perfect for me.
Tell us about what or who has influenced you and how that’s helped your journey.
My family has been a very influential part of my life. They have helped to shape the person that I am today, as a reflection of the many events that I have experienced throughout my life. Throughout the years, and from generation to generation, there are some values that have been consistently instilled. Throughout my life, education, hard work, and altruism have been significantly valued in my family. Consequently, these values are very much a part of the person I am today and will help me to be an effective counselor. As a unit, my family has worked together by showing each other love respect and support. My family experiences correlate with the job expectations of a school counselor, in that I am now able to express that love and support to help students strive for their greatest aspirations. Furthermore, I have gained insight about the struggles my family has faced; how these struggles affected them, and how they persevered. In my opinion, families help to provide a sense of identity. More specifically, lessons taught and the values instilled in individuals from early in life are huge components of an individual.
What made you decide that CITE / Alfred University was the right fit for you?
CITE/ Alfred U. was the right school for me because the program had a strict 2-year schedule. The program only met on Saturdays for 2 years. This schedule was perfect for my work schedule and personal life.
Tell us about your CITE / Alfred U. experience.
My CITE / Alfred experience was great. I had wonderful professors who were passionate and knowledgeable. My favorite professor was Ms. Darkeh. Also, while attending CITE / Alfred, I was able to build a bond with a handful of students who now I consider family.
What is special about being a counselor?
I love being a counselor because I enjoy helping people. It feels good when you see your students and their families make improvements and graduate. Also, even when they see you outside of work they are so thankful that you are in their child’s life. I am grateful and thankful for the role that I am in, and the impact I can make on my students’ and families’ lives.
What’s difficult about being a counselor?
The difficult part about being a counselor, to me, is when you know a child needs help and parents are in denial and refuse to get their child the help they need because they are afraid of the label, “Special Education”.
Is there an obstacle that you had to overcome while being a student in the CITE / Alfred School Counseling Master’s Program?
So, during the beginning of my second year I fractured my ankle and had to have surgery. I couldn’t walk for 8 months, but I made sure I was in class every Saturday and maintained a 4.0.
Why did you decide to apply for the School Counseling Master’s program?
I chose that program because while I was a substitute teacher I realized that teaching wasn’t for me, but I wanted to work in the education field. I asked myself what can I do, and I realized that while I was a teaching I was mentoring a lot of the, “problem kids”. So, I had a conversation with the school counselor and she pointed me in the direction of the teacher that was enrolled in the CITE / Alfred School Counseling Master’s program.
What are you doing now?
Now I am currently the School Counselor for The Newport Lion MS.
Are you happy with your overall investment?
I am happy and grateful for my investment; there is never a morning that I wake up and complain about the career I chose.
Thanks to Remmy for sharing his success with us!
To share your professional journey with other CITE program students and alumni, please email our Alumni Coordinator, Joshua Davis. For more information on our School Counseling Master’s Program, click here.
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education. For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Professional Certification, Special Ed,Grad Courses, Bilingual courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Doctorate) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long Island.
CITE PD offers CTLE-approved in-school professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. Info: citepd.com