Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Connor. We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I have been all over the city. I grew up in the heights before we were gentrified out. Then, I moved to the northwestern part of town, before finishing my undergraduate studies at the University of Houston. Growing up in such a diverse, cosmopolitan city set me on an interdisciplinary path. Thus I am pursuing a career that in essence is a mix of everything that it means to be human, a therapist, or a counselor. I am pursuing excellence for myself and everyone I meet.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
I have been inspired by all of those who help, who care for other people, and who want to make the world a better place. Oftentimes, taking care of ourselves and those closest to us is all we can muster. Those who have the opportunity to do more than that – to work outside themselves – are a marvel. Society could not exist without them. Inherently, there is something transcendental to that.
What is one thing you are most proud of achieving in your life?
On my last day at my previous tutoring job, the teachers I worked for threw me a going-away party. Along with other gifts, they presented a signed card that had the names and well wishes of all the students I had worked with. Being able to hold a tangible symbol of all the help I had given over the previous two years was unspeakably heartwarming.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
As everyone ought, I must thank my mother, Dawn, first of all. I would not be anywhere without her unconditional love and support throughout the years. I love my dad too of course, but you know how it is. 😉 I would thank some other maternal figures as well, including four previous supervisors and teachers. Mrs. Lisa, Professor Salisbury, Mrs. Powers, and Mrs. Joseph provided world-class mentorship and guidance in my academic and professional careers.
What do you enjoy most about teaching/tutoring?
Seeing students gain skills and wisdom is what I enjoy most. Tutoring is extremely gratifying as it is a social job that directly helps other people. Since we have to work for a huge portion of our lives, it is important to me that that time is not spent spinning my wheels, doing little to improve things other than my employer and my pocketbook. As a tutor, we get to see how we help other people, directly, in very quantifiable and meaningful ways.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to read, exercise with friends, practice contemplative exercises, and play chess or other strategy games. The humanities and social sciences are never-ending founts of knowledge. Science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels are a boon for the soul. Participating in running clubs, yoga, and rock climbing are my favorite ways to stay active. Meditation and journaling help with my self-care. Aristotle once called friendship the highest of virtues, and games are an excellent way to bond with friends!
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
Senior year of high school I was lucky enough to tour with the choir in California! The best was getting to hike around Mount Arrowhead to witness stunning views of topography. Now I cannot help but prefer mountains to beaches.
Is there something exciting you are working on now? What is it and why did you choose to start it?
I am most excited about attending graduate school! I am about to start a Master of Science in Counseling program in order to become a licensed counselor/therapist. College was always a means for me to find a career that helps other people, thus I pursued nursing studies at first. After doing well in college, I took an elective philosophy class and was profoundly inspired by certain transcendent ideals found in the pursuit of wisdom. I thus changed my major in the hopes of becoming a philosopher, as I saw it as a way for me to make a systemic difference in the world. The only wrinkle is that I do not love academic writing, though I love reading it. Therapy, another wisdom career based on philosophy’s most prodigious offshoot, psychology, was the ideal career innovation for me. Counselors directly help people with their problems and can go on to create change through advocacy, writing, or even working with institutions and policy.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?
Epictetus’ Enchiridion holds concise, practical, and timeless wisdom on how to live well. Stoic wisdom, in general, has held up to modern scrutiny, rivaling similar ancient traditions such as venerable Buddhism. Even if it is not true in quite the same way that the ancients thought, there is a lot of truth to the idea that we do not react to things in and of themselves, but to our own judgments of them.
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success? Focus
My advice is to focus on what you can control and pay little attention to what you cannot. This means working in the present, the moment where we have the most agency, moving on from events that did not or could not have gone your way, but also being courageous in the face of uncertainty. On one level or another, most of our lives are uncertain, thus we cannot perform only in situations of perfect certainty. What you need to do, your next best move, if it really is so, ought to be done despite ineradicable uncertainty. What you do is in your hands, uncertainty is luck and fate’s concern.