Alek Dall, a senior at Laurel Springs, has strong personal reasons to pursue a career as a psychologist or psychiatrist and has faced significant obstacles along their journey. Our Behavioral Sciences curriculum pathway is a perfect match for Alek’s passions.
Traditional school posed major challenges for Alek. “With Laurel Springs, I’m able to keep up with my classes and take care of my own education, while learning how to navigate how I can interact with the world.” Alek struggled to manage anxiety in a traditional school environment. “Going to public school, I felt so anxious and trapped, like my education wasn’t in my control. After I transferred to Laurel Springs, I felt a sense of empowerment about my education, and was able to choose what I need.”
Alek is a senior who feels confident about what they want to do in life—and how to connect their career goals to what they are studying now. “I took psychology last year, am taking peer counseling this year, and next semester I plan to take sociology,” they said. These courses, which are part of the Behavioral Sciences pathway, inform Alek’s work as an inclusion aide for children with disabilities at a recreational program. “I’ve been there for about a year, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. It pained me to see one of my participants feel anxious and scared, and not know how to express it. I want to help people with developmental disabilities receive the proper care.”
Alek is dedicated to being an advocate for people who can’t speak up for themselves. “I want to fix things within the healthcare system. As a transgender person living in America, I have rights, and I have to know a lot about my own healthcare needs. That’s probably why I have more of an understanding [about behavioral healthcare]—it’s always something I’ve known a lot about because I had to learn about myself.”
Now in their second year at Laurel Springs, Alek said that attending an online high school is helpful “in more ways than I could count. Laurel Springs is flexible enough that I can schedule and plan out my day. I feel successful, which helps keep me from getting discouraged. And the teachers are so friendly and welcoming! This past year, I’ve actually made more of an effort because school felt like something I could enjoy again.”
Blazing a Trail to the Future
What’s next for Alek after they graduate from Laurel Springs? “I’m interested in a few schools, like the University of Colorado – Boulder, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Vermont. I may go to Denmark for the summer after senior year, or take a gap year there because my father is from Denmark and I’d like to keep up my dual citizenship.”
Long-term, Alek has a few thoughts about how they’d like to focus within the field of behavioral health. “I have a few specialties in mind: people with disabilities and people in the LGBTQ+ community, and I would like to be able to do music therapy as well.” Alek would love to open their own clinic, where “people with disabilities are able to receive treatment from people who are understanding.” Alek’s dream originated from seeing some of the disabled children they work with being turned away from healthcare because their disability is the focus of their hospitalization, rather than their mental and behavioral health issues. “I want to have employees who are trained in both trauma and disability.”
Clearly, Alek is passionate about their future work in the psychology field. When told that they seem like a trailblazer who’s eager to help people along the way, Alek said, “I’m pretty good at validating myself because my dreams are really ambitions—but it means a lot to hear that!”
No matter what they want to do after high school, Laurel Springs students can start exploring future careers today with course options from industry-focused curriculum pathways. Ready to learn more? Contact your Laurel Springs representative or our admissions team to dive deeper into our curated class offerings.