Grace Wirein of Dublin is pursuing her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College with help from a Foundation scholarship.
Her goals: to become a licensed mental health counselor and psychologist working with adolescents and young adults, in particular with Asian American populations.
She was inspired by her high school guidance counselor – who helped guide her both academically and socially.
“I want to be the same kind of person to other people,” she said. “I really want to be a guiding resource and a helpful, non-judgmental person to young people. I am really drawn to the identity exploration part of adolescence since I had an interesting identity exploration of my own.”
Her main research and clinical interests are in the area of adolescent development and Asian mental health. For her senior thesis as an undergrad (St. Anselm College, Honors), Grace created a study that examined job stereotypes in relation to the “model minority” bias.
She is working as an intern at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, and as a graduate assistant in the BC Office for Institutional Diversity.
“There is a lot of mental health stigma and there needs to be more accessible counseling services, especially to communities of color and in particular the Asian community,” Grace said. “I want to be a part of destigmatizing mental health and helping people get culturally competent counseling services.”