Alumni Feature: Lindsay Mieden

Lindsay Mieden is a former College Adviser who served at Woodhaven High School. Lindsay currently serves as a school counselor at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School.

“Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possibly be.”

-Rita Pierson, Educator

TED Talks 2013

 Pursuing and accepting the College Adviser position with AdviseMI was the best decision I’ve ever made. I had no idea at the time, but those two years of service set me up on the journey that I am on today, and I truly do not know where, or who, I would be without it. After graduation with my Bachelor of Arts in degree in psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in April 2015, my future path did not yet feel clear. I knew the general work that I wanted to do—work with youth and make a difference—but I was not sure of how to get there. However, the moment that I read the College Adviser job description, my excitement went through the roof, feeling that I was meant for this job. Knowing that I would be in a position to help students have access to postsecondary education, along with the financial resources for those opportunities, felt like my life calling. Little did I know, my college adviser position would be so much more.

My experience serving Woodhaven High School in Brownstown, Michigan was fulfilling. The staff was extremely supportive, and the students were incredible! Seeing them excited about the college application process and all of the potential opportunities ahead of them was incredible, and I felt honored to be part of their journey.

However, it did not take long before I realized that this work was more than assisting with career assessments, college applications, and financial aid letters. These students had real life challenges that they faced each day. These obstacles in their lives were tough for them to navigate during their high school years, and I knew that if they were not given the tools to overcome them at that point in their lives, their chances of making it through their postsecondary education were slim. It was with this realization that I knew I wanted to become a school counselor, and I enrolled in Central Michigan University’s Clinical and School Counseling program.

I have since graduated with my Master of Arts in counseling and am working as a school counselor at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Riverview, Michigan Now, I help my students not only with the college application process but also with their overall development. Whether they face mental health obstacles, academic struggles, or fears about the next chapter of their life, it is my job to help them overcome that. Working with students on developing their mental health has quickly become one of my biggest passions, and that has stemmed from my role as a College Adviser. 

To some, it may seem strange that postsecondary planning and mental health are linked, but I would disagree. It is my belief that everything we do, or not do, in life stems from our mental health: self-confidence, ability to cope, resiliency, and ability to adapt to new situations. I think to myself, “What if every student struggling with depression knew that things would get better? What if every student who was labeled as a behavior issue had help identifying their strengths instead of being told about their weaknesses? What if every student who struggled academically had an adult who believed in them?” High school is such a delicate time in a student’s life, and if each child truly had a champion who never gave up on them, imagine what they could become. I am blessed to not only have a job that allows me to do this, but also to work with a staff who believes in this message as well.

I do not know what the next chapter of my life holds, because I would have never imagined that I would be where I am. The experiences that the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) provided me has set me up on the path that has become my career. I am beyond blessed and privileged to do what I love every day, and I owe that all to MCAN.

 

Lindsay Mieden, MA, SCL, LLPC
School Counselor (A-K)
Gabriel Richard Catholic High School

 

 

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