Dr. Kimber Shelton is a counseling psychologist in a private practice. She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Georgia.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Kimber Shelton)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Kimber Shelton)

When Shelton was a child she thought she wanted to be a surgeon, a lawyer or a psychologist. One day, she saw a surgery being performed on television and crossed that off her list. With lawyer and psychologist as options, she earned bachelors degrees in criminal justice and psychology from Roberts Wesleyan College in New York. She participated in a ride-along, connected with the people, and wanted to be part of empowering people. Shelton decided she wanted to work with marginalized disenfranchised groups and earned a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Niagara University. Shelton credits her career path to having good mentors.

Shelton pursued her doctorate degree because she was mentored in that direction and felt that she would have more options to do work she feels passionate about. “There is more respect attached to Dr. Shelton than Kimber Shelton. Someone [my mentors] thought I could do more so they encouraged me to further my education. I do the same with my clients. When my clients tell me they feel stuck, my job is to help them get to see what they need to do to motivate themselves and pursue their passion,” Shelton said.

Shelton’s advice for those returning to school is to “Know what you want to do. Have reasonable expectations, it is a lot of work. The benefit of having the degree is self-satisfying. It can open career doors for you. Be diligent in looking for grants and other resources to help you pay for your education.”

“My biggest reward for earning my degrees was crossing the stage and hearing Dr. Kimber Shelton being said with my family there. After 11 years of education, I was the first person in my family to earn an advanced degree. I love my work. It is an honor and privilege to help my clients move past their problems and issues. Every day I get to sit with people who are resilient. That is a huge reward,” said Shelton.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com