In her car, Porschea keeps an excerpt of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, which was given to her by Raul at The Guidance Center. She feels uplifted each time she spots it and is encouraged to keep going. Porschea has accomplished a lot and has been to many places since her last visit to The Guidance Center in 2014 and speaking at the 4th Annual Sunset Sip. We are excited to share an update on her journey.

A Look Back
Years ago and before coming to The Guidance Center, Porschea’s vision for her life was limited. She grew up with the understanding that individuals have jobs to meet financial needs, not fulfill passions. She was taught that “dreams, aspirations and hopes don’t matter, and if it doesn’t make you good money right now, you don’t do it.” She worked to attain necessities and thought little about how she could be excited by and passionate about her profession. She was always talented in school, but saw furthering her education as a non-necessity.

Porschea came to The Guidance Center with these ideologies during a difficult time in her life. After experiencing abuse and abandonment throughout her upbringing, dysfunctional and broken relationships were normal to her. Years of domestic violence, trauma and self-doubt pushed her into depression. After having trouble coping with the sudden loss of her best friend to suicide and the loss of her uncle to Cirrhosis of the liver, Porschea decided to seek help. She believed a therapist at The Guidance Center could help with her depression. She couldn’t foresee therapy being any more impactful or transformative than that.

During sessions, Porschea talked with her therapist about her life and the many hardships she endured. After uncovering how trauma and negative experiences had driven her to make disadvantageous decisions and develop adverse habits, she saw new possibilities. She understood that being on a path of recovery would benefit her health and her quality of life. This new perspective restored Porschea’s hope, and with hope, she began looking for opportunities to grow and live happier.

A Look at Today
After finishing therapy at The Guidance Center, Porschea went back to school and obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Social Work. Today, Porschea helps disenfranchised communities find hope and prosper. She works with individuals struggling with severe and persistent mental illness, providing assessments, psychotherapy and diagnostics to foster clinical interventions and plans for treatment. Porschea loves being a social worker and excitedly took on the role even though these accomplishments were once unplanned and unimaginable for her.

She always saw the importance of supporting disenfranchised and marginalized communities but hadn’t believed in her ability to help these groups until receiving therapy services. Porschea has learned how to overcome self-doubt and defy her old habit of living without passion and purpose. She is able to do this by having hope, faith and a stable support system. Now, she prioritizes her well-being and because of this, is able to fulfill her purpose of helping others every day.

Porschea also recently received an ‘Inspiring Phenomenal Women of Long Beach’ award from the NAACP. She was nominated for this award because of her work in the community and her MSW thesis. Her research focused on the maternal mental health of progressive* mothers of color.

Porschea believes that living out her purpose and passion is a luxury. She recognizes that for many, developing a life centralized around passion is simply out of reach. She comes from a family that placed importance on financial stability, not having a passion. After being in relationships with people who belittled her, she lost confidence in herself. Porschea has grown beyond these experiences and uses them to reach new heights.

A Look Ahead
Porschea is excited about her future. She plans on consistently taking care of her mental health so that she can take care of her three young children and dedicate her work in serving others. She also dreams of long-term goals of earning a PhD in Social Work or Education, with aspirations to teach clinicians how to embrace authenticity as well as the value of presence and working with intention.

In celebration of this year’s Sunset Sip themed, ‘Hope Takes Flight’, Porschea shares what lifts her up.
“I’ve learned to put myself first. I prioritize self. What lifts me up is that I’m living out my purpose and because I don’t feel like work is work, I am able to be more present in all areas of my life. I am lifted up by taking care of myself and my mental health.” Porschea ended the interview sharing, “I will never forget the many faces at The Guidance Center that instilled hope for me and provided me a platform to develop trust in myself and my own hopes and dreams. The Guidance Center’s support gave me fuel to live out my wildest dreams and develop a life filled with both financial stability and passion. I am forever grateful for the quality of work provided at The Guidance Center.”

At this year’s Sunset Sip, we will hear from another former client of The Guidance Center. We welcome you to join us and hear how hope has taken flight in his life. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: bit.ly/SUNSETSIP2019.

*In her research Porschea defines progressive mothers as mothers who have activities outside of the home (i.e. volunteering, working, going to school, etc.).

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