2017-2018 Underserved Scholarship Awardee
Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA
Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration
“Do not try to be deep. Try to be clear and depth will follow.”
— Nomy Arpaly
Sothavy is a graduate student in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at WJC where she is completing an Emphasis in Expressive Arts Therapy. She graduated from Boston College in 2015 with a major in Applied Psychology and Human Development. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and matriculate to a master’s degree program. Sothavy was inspired to pursue a career in psychology due to her experience growing up with parents who suffered from PTSD and depression from the Cambodian genocide. She has a strong desire to learn more about mental illness in order to better serve individuals in her Cambodian community where conversations about mental illness are often suppressed. Sothavy’s long-term goals are to become a licensed mental health counselor and Expressive Arts Therapist, acquire more knowledge about the effects of warrelated trauma and depression on populations affected by genocide, and continue her service learning and volunteer work with the Cambodian community. Sothavy plans to obtain a doctoral degree, ideally in Counseling and Dance/Movement Therapy. One of her passions is breakdancing, also know as “breaking”. She remarked, “breaking has truly helped me discover my sense of self through various movements, and has helped me find a strong community of support that has shaped my overall identity.” She further noted, “A lot of my parents’ values have taught me to maintain a strong sense of grit—that is, the ability to be courageous, the development of passion from what you do, and the will to keep going.” Her ultimate dream is to open a counseling center that will incorporate expressive arts as an integral part of a person’s development for self-growth, healing, and transformation.