Kristina Conroy ’10

Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Florida International University specializing in issues impacting children and teens

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

I often think that the natural inclination for teens and young adults is to look around and see what others are doing, and to develop goals that, in some form, are structured by others’ expectations (e.g., family members’ expectations, teachers’ expectations). My advice is to openly ask yourself: “What do I want?” and “Who do I want to be?” and see what comes of it.

Another piece of advice I have is to build your own community. For me, that consists of talking with the front-desk staff and the barista at my local coffee shop, calling family members on my walk to work, building friendships with colleagues and peers, and identifying mentors with overlapping values and interests. I think the hard work and hustle is easier when we feel connected to people around us.

What motivates you in your work and life?

I have structured my work around my values to support children and teens who are struggling , and to promote health equity and social justice. I think this alignment between my personal and professional goals allows me to savor the successes and get through the more challenging aspects of my job and life!