Children & Teens
Emily Deem, BA, Student Intern
My story begins at age 17 when I met Amelia, a child born with trisomy 21 and extensive heart complications. She was born into a world full of hope and support, but nevertheless she faced an uphill battle from her very first breath. While Amelia led me to unearth my passion of working with brave children fighting unimaginable circumstances and their incredible families, it was a little girl named Chloe who made me want to turn this passion into my lifelong career. I met Chloe my senior year of college, and she, like Amelia, has lived a life full of uncertainties. Their families are never promised tomorrow, and they are the backbone of their child’s survival. These children will never be cured of their conditions much like those who suffer from trauma, mental illness, or substance abuse. They will need support and understanding throughout the extent of their lives. I have gratefully realized how impactful mental health counselors, among other professionals, are to these resilient individuals and how imperative they are to the success and growth of these suffering families.
My career took an interesting beginning: I graduated from Florida State University with a major in business, but then the universe led me to exactly where I belong, one life experience at a time. As I was approaching college graduation, the puzzle pieces seemed to fall together quite perfectly, allowing me to realize that I could satisfy this need of helping others by working with my dream population.. children! Many influences impacted my decision to jump into this career, but most importantly it were kids like Amelia and Chloe that fueled my desire to work with those who deserve to have a beautiful life despite their obstacles.
My grief journey began three years ago, when my Coach Matt died from medical complications. His death was shockingly unexpected, and I was left with the lessons he taught me and the life he inspired in others. My grief journey continued this past year, when my Grandpa Greg died suddenly from a heart attack. Grandpa Greg left behind a legacy, and I constantly see his love and the radiant life he lived through the people that surround me. Grief is tricky, and it has left me with many unanswered questions, but I have ultimately learned how to continue living in a way that my Coach Matt and Grandpa Greg would be proud of.
Emily is completing a dual internship at Berger Counseling Services and Tomorrow’s Rainbow. She helps to support grief, loss and trauma, including helping children, teens and adults dealing with the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting .