Five (Plus) Things to Know about Dr. Kendra Jackson
Dr. Kendra Jackson currently serves as our ASGW Treasurer and President-Elect. As we get to know our leadership and members a bit better, we asked a few questions about her experience working with groups and involvement in ASGW.
- What motivated you to take on a leadership role within ASGW?
During 2017-2018, one of my mentors, who was also one of my previous professors, invited me to become involved with ASGW. Although a member, it was an honor to be asked to take on the Awards Chair position with a colleague. As I became involved, I enjoyed being around wonderful people, my passion for group work continued, and the desire to pursue leadership opportunities increased. In my mind, I was positioned to utilize my gifts, creativity, and various skills that I possess to help ASGW grow, and to aid in the expansion of resources and programs that would help enhance group leaders.
- What is the most important lesson that you have learned about working with groups?
The most important lesson that I learned about working with groups was to “trust the process.” As a group leader, especially when I facilitated groups with children and adolescents, I would wonder if the work I was doing was effective, and whether I was helping the group members to help move towards positive change. I would wonder if I was really helping, was the experience meaningful, if members were really getting anything out of the experience, and when will results be present. In moments of reflection and thought, I realized that I was so focused on the outcome, that I was losing sight of the importance of the actual process itself. It is during the process where the magic happens, but I had to trust that the process, but also trust myself and the members who are part of the work being done, and that contributed to the process. When I was able to move to of the way, progress occurred, and members flourished.
- What could ASGW members come to you for advice on or help with?
ASGW members could come to me for anything…unless it is illegal, then we have problems. Just kidding, but seriously, nothing illegal! But I am open to mentoring members, assisting them with getting involved, bouncing around ideas, collaborating, and helping them to continue flourishing as a group leader.
- What is your favorite memory of being involved with ASGW?
Although I have numerous memories that I hold near and dear to my heart, I always enjoy the conferences. It is always amazing to see the eagerness of attending graduate students and seasoned clinicians. During those conferences, there are opportunities to meet and connect with numerous group leaders, but also ones that have paved the way for the work we are doing. Taking the time to see the pioneers of group work facilitate groups, present topics on groups, and take pictures with you, and genuinely want to get to know you is amazing! Gleaning from their wisdom is truly a blessing.
- Why should others become involved in ASGW leadership?
ASGW is more than a professional counseling organization that focuses on cultivating group leaders, it is really a family, and a great place to make meaningful connections. Prospective members have an opportunity to collaborate with likeminded and creative individuals who are passionate about group work and helping you to be the best group leader you can be. Additionally, ASGW helps members and aspiring leaders to grow personally as well as professionally. Since being involved, I have grown as a leader and have become more confident as a professional. I appreciate my involvement and the support of ASGW, and as others decide to get involved, I am sure that they will have similar positive experiences!
+ What cereal best represents who you are?
The cereal that best represents who I am is “Special K”! Come on…. you had to see that one coming! It is a delightful cereal, just like my personality. “Special K” comes in a variety of flavors, which reflects my ability to be flexible, adapt well to change, shows my uniqueness and creativity, and that I am more than what you see. Like “Special K” cereal, it looks tasty, but has nutrients and vitamins that build your body up, I am filled with wonderful qualities that help me to be a good friend, and to be supportive to others. I am always looking for opportunities to empower and build others up so that they too realize how special they are!