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Alumni Success

Student, teacher, counselor, mother, and award winner

Carmen Arellano finds time to do it all. She is a full-time student in the Doctor of Clinical Psychology program at Argosy University, Chicago. In addition, she teaches several psychology courses in English and Spanish at St. Augustine College in Chicago. On top of these demanding tasks, Carmen serves as counselor, teacher, and volunteer at a private domestic violence shelter.

“I feel committed to working with the Spanish speaking population,” she said. “At the shelter, I use a didactic group therapy modality where women not only learn, but get to express their own experience by sharing their stories.” Her volunteer efforts include art therapy for women at the shelter. “I teach them how to decorate cakes,” Arellano said. “It keeps their hands busy and lets them laugh, cry, and talk more openly. When it’s over, the women have a beautiful cake to share with their children and a skill they can use.”

Raised in Jalisco, Mexico, Carmen has traveled on immersion trips to El Salvador, Cuba, and China. She has studied in Rome, the Middle East, and Belgium, and recently earned a graduate certificate in Biblical Studies and Spirituality. “Cultivating my own spirituality gave me strength for the psychological aspect of my career. It gave me balance,” she said.

“I’ve turned 50 and it’s the beginning of a new life as a full-time student. I have a lot of experience I can share with the younger students. The challenge of being an older student makes me feel young at heart. That’s what’s important.”

Carmen received a Fellowship from the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois program for the 2007-2009 school years. She has also received a Community Service Award for her work as a volunteer at the domestic violence shelter.

“My greatest strength is that I always encourage students to value a higher education,” Carmen said. “I place special emphasis on the fact that success is measured not by how much money one makes, but by how satisfied one is when one incorporates vocation and interests with career goals.”

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