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School of Professional Counseling Graduates
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School of Professional Counseling Graduates

Mary Mosley, Class of 2004

Lindsey Wilson College alumna Mary Mosley is so busy making a difference in her region that she almost didn't have time to receive an award honoring her contributions.

At a recent youth summit in Prestonsburg, Ky., Mosley was named Regional Substance Abuse Counselor of the Year by Operation UNITE for her efforts to fight drug abuse and addiction in Harlan County, Ky.

But she almost wasn't present to receive the honor.

Mosley had taken a busload of students from Evarts High School to the event at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. She slipped out a few minutes early in an effort to get a head start back home. That's when some of the event's organizers persuaded her to return to the auditorium.

"I was focused on getting my students back to school, and the Operation UNITE staff came to me and said that we had to get back to the center," said Mosley, who is substance abuse counselor for the Harlan County School System. "They told my students that I was going to receive an award, and my students did a good job keeping it a secret from me. … Receiving the award meant a lot to me because it made me feel like I am making a difference in the area and changing students' lives."

Mosley earned a bachelor's degree in human services & counseling from Lindsey Wilson in 2004 through LWC's partnership with Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College-Cumberland Campus, and she's working on a master of education in counseling and human development from LWC at the Cumberland Community Campus.

Mosley has served UNITE - which stands for Unlawful, Narcotics, Investigation, Treatment, & Education - and the Harlan County School System since 2005. Her responsibilities include counseling students in seven Harlan County schools, chairing youth activities for the Harlan County UNITE Coalition, and assisting the county's UNITE clubs.

A Harlan native, Mosley has seen how drug use - especially abuse of marijuana and prescription pills - has crept into the region's schools, torn families apart and ruined young lives.

"Abusing drugs has become more common in students' lives," she said.

Mosley helps young people avoid drug use through prevention efforts in the schools and communities and also by intervening with young people who are suspected of using drugs.

"I want to see students succeed in society, and I want to do whatever I can to help them overcome their problems," she said. "It's often a very long process and very tiring, but it's worth it when you see the impact you have made on one student's life."

Mosley said her approach to helping students was heavily influenced by her professors in LWC's School of Professional Counseling.

"They have been a huge influence on me and how I work with students," Mosley said. "My professors pushed me and helped me realize what I could do and accomplish. And that's what I want to do for my students - help them realize what they can become."

 

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