AUGUSTA, GA. – Augusta University College of Education’s own Katy Towns received Honorable Mention in the American Counseling Association’s Ross Trust Future School Counselors Essay Competition. Towns was one of 17 entrants out of 600 nationwide to receive an honor in the contest, and is the first AU student to receive recognition in this competition.
Dr. Richard Deaner, program coordinator for counselor education, characterized Towns as a naturally gifted counselor-in-training who easily connects with people and is able to grasp complex concepts rather easily.
“Katy’s paper involves a discussion about how she would include openness and inclusion as a school counselor. In particular, it involves inspirational sentiment about supporting the #MeToo movement in a reflective and meaningful manner as a counselor. She is passionate about helping people and instilling inspiration in others. Her creative and thoughtful writing style reflects her passion, intellect, and pursuit of excellence,” Deaner said.
Towns said that she was inspired to be a school counselor by students from her hometown of Lincolnton, Ga., who lacked a source of strength from outside the school, and because they lacked that strength were not able to seek the resources that they needed.
“I feel like the school system is a great place to foster change because you can find these students whose mental health issues may otherwise go unnoticed. The earlier you can identify someone facing difficult challenges or suffering abuse, the better their outcomes are likely to be because they get early assistance,” Towns said.
Katy will receive her award at the American Counseling Association 2018 Conference and Expo in Atlanta in April. The American Counseling Association is a non-profit organization devoted to helping further the counseling profession.