By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern

After many years not believing I needed to earn any degree, I am pleased to have found a passion for furthering my education to benefit those facing daily challenges they may not yet understand. For over a decade, I struggled with memory loss and vision impairment due to a high school brain injury while involved in varsity soccer. With a combination of luck and faith, I was able to complete intense visual therapy to help teach my eyes how to work together again. This has made a world of difference in my overall level of function across my lifestyle. It also gave my body some much needed time to heal from repeated injuries, persuading me to give up my life of physical sports.

During all this time, I have worked a diverse collection of jobs including custom framing, personal finance, men’s fashion, tea consultation, student services, skin care, and behavioral health. What was learned is that I don’t have an answer until I dive in and do it myself. It has been enjoyable to explore different occupations and learn the intricate workings of each. Currently, I am a student at Northwestern University earning my Master of Art in counseling and working for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, facilitating behavioral intervention plans.

Though I don’t have much free time, I do enjoy spending much of my time surrounded by family and our old pup, Charles. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch Charles play with and ignore my greatest love, Oscar. Oscar, my first nephew, joined the family earlier than expected in February 2020, just one week before the pandemic caused hospitals to close their doors to visitors. He took a tight grip of my heart at that time and regularly reminds me of his power – every time he cries, my eyes well up with tears. He makes my life perfect.