Las Vegas, NV – Christina Mintzmyer is a College Success Arizona Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, who lives in the Las Vegas area with her husband, who’s serving in the United States Air Force.
Christina, age 28, was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Phoenix from the age of three. She graduated from Copper Canyon High School in 2008 and then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications from Arizona State University, and then a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Texas Arlington.
Christina says, “About two years after I graduated from ASU I decided to go and get my master’s (degree) in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington. I graduated last year with my master’s and I also became a licensed social worker in the State of Nevada. Currently, I’m working as an intern providing therapy services for children, family, and adults, which is part of earning my clinical hours to become a fully licensed clinical social worker.”
It will take Christina about two years to earn her social worker license, which requires about two-thousand hours of direct client contact. Her career options can include working for state and private agencies that provide therapy services or working at a psychiatric hospital.
Christina explains that she didn’t start out wanting to be a social worker:
“My bachelor’s degree is in business and I always thought that I would be going into business, but volunteering in college and working my first job after college, really helped to solidify that I really like working with people and providing theses services that can help better their lives. So, it was those experiences that led me to pursue social work, and my strong interest is really in the mental health side of social work. The specialty in my master’s degree was children and family, but I still haven’t made up my mind about which population I may want to work with more in the future. Right now, my clients are primarily children and family but I also work with adults. So, so I’m just getting exposure to all different kinds of populations to see what I eventually want to work more with in the future.”
Moving from Arizona to Texas, to Nevada are part of Christina’s husband serving in the United State Air Force. He’s currently stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, about 50 miles Northwest of Las Vegas.
Christina says she’s adapting to the moving, “We’re not actually sure where we could go next, it just depends on what the Air Force needs. It is difficult to move and to start over, but I think that I have enough skills to be able to meet those demands. Every time we move I see it as an opportunity to grow and to develop new skills to overcome whatever challenges may come. So far as living in the Las Vegas area – it’s actually not as different as I thought it was going to be, and we live more in the North Las Vegas area, which is not anywhere near The Strip. We really enjoy living here because we can drive to Phoenix to see friends and family. We’ve lived in other locations where it was a lot more difficult because of the distance to visit Arizona.”
Christina is among the hundreds of high potential students who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona, which provides financial support and specialized mentoring services through a team of talented “Success Advisers.” Christina’s mentor was Marjorie DeRubeis, “I think the mentor aspect of the scholarship has really helped a lot – helping me to work through some of the stresses that were in college. My parents were great and always encouraged me to pursue higher education, even though they didn’t have that for themselves. They were limited as to the information they could offer me about college, and they didn’t understand some of the challenges that were going on in college. So, it was good to have Marjorie as a mentor who could answer the questions that I had, and she had all of the background knowledge and experience with college. She helped beyond the education part of it – Marjorie would be there when I had stresses about joining clubs and making friends, and it was just so nice to have support system in place.”
Christina adds, “The financial support of the scholarship was also great, because it allowed me to graduate from college debt-free and that was just a huge stress relief. Graduating from college without owing any money is not the case with most students. After graduating I was able to earn another scholarship from College Success Arizona which helped to pay for part of my master’s degree.”
Meanwhile, Christina has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “My biggest advice is to definitely challenge yourself, because it can be really easy to get into a rut with things that you’re comfortable with. I know that whenever a new challenge came my way I would go for it, and probably be stressed out a little bit during the process, but afterward I always felt that I grew a lot from the experience.
For Christina, the best part of college was, “Getting to meet people that are striving to be as successful as possible. I’m still friends with many of my college peers, and we have so much in common because we were able to go through all those struggles together. At the time, it seemed so stressful, but now looking back I realize that those were the good times.”
And the best part of post-college life, “It has definitely been challenging myself. I thought that once I graduated from college things would get a little bit easier, but it has definitely gotten a lot more challenging. But, I think the challenges have helped me a lot in the long run because I have gained more skills, and I’ve been able to push myself to do things that I didn’t think I would be comfortable doing.”
Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.