Photo of Brittney Veath McBride

Brittney (Veath) McBride '10, MAPC '13

By Angela Grossmann-Roewe '98

Right now, somewhere, a child is crying. A confused pre-teen is dealing with peer pressure, and a married couple is debating their future together, and Brittney (Veath) McBride ’10 is working hard to make a difference in all their lives. And, she’s doing so one class at a time at McKendree University.

Set to graduate with a master’s degree in professional counseling in May of 2013, Brittney has sorted through a fair share of challenges herself. Although she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2010 from McKendree, obtaining her master’s degree proved a bit more difficult, as holding down a full-time job and nurturing a marriage and young daughter all had to remain top priorities as well.

“I wanted to do therapy and I knew I would need more education to be an effective counselor, so I made a decision to go back for my master’s even though my life was already in full swing,” she said.

Being a counselor is important to Brittney because of what counseling stands for. “It’s selfless in nature where the reward is never recognition for your work, but where the clients see growth and improvement in themselves,” she said. “There was a time in my life where a counselor really helped me through some tough things and I will never forget the feeling of getting my life back. I want to be that counselor for someone else.”

Working as an intern at Chestnut Health Systems and at a chiropractor’s office coupled with going to school and raising a near-2-year-old daughter hasn’t been easy for Brittney.

“It’s a balancing act,” she says. “I ask myself everyday, ‘Where does my attention need to be focused the most today?’

“I want to be successful in everything I do, but after having a child my mind set changed from bettering myself to bettering my family,” she noted. “I want to be an example to her and show her that hard work pays off. When I am overwhelmed, I think about her and how happy she is from simple things, such as playing with mommy, and the stress falls away for a moment. I am then able to reground and refocus.”

Brittney has two loves - family and education, adding that she is fortunate for her supportive husband, Shawn ’10. “Together, we somehow make our busy schedules manageable,” she said. She adds that the McKendree program and staff have made it even more manageable through a diverse selection of day and evening classes.

“It was also the perfect size school,” McBride said. “I was seen as an individual, not lost in the mix of all students.” And, she found the curriculum challenging every single semester.

“I feel prepared to begin my counseling career although I maintain that there is always more to learn,” she said. “My plan is to continue to learn and grow as a counselor. I am looking forward to getting out there and helping others.”

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