Cedar Ridge counselor helps adolescents navigate cyber age
If someone told Becky Curry she was going to be a middle school counselor when she was in college she wouldn't have believed it. Fourteen years and a master's degree in educational counseling later, she's still helping guide students at Cedar Ridge Middle School.
Curry has counseled at Cedar Ridge since well before insults were a text away and bullying was online, and she has adapted to help today's students navigate their emotions in the digital age.
"I feel like things have definitely gotten more difficult over the years, just in terms of what kids are dealing with," Curry said. "There's an added level of friendship in there (with social media). Their social lives have gotten way more complicated. I would think after 14 years that this job would be a breeze, but it's a constant challenge."
The Portland native said she was initially hesitant after receiving her bachelor's degree in psychology from Portland State University to work with middle-schoolers. Once she took the job in Sandy, however, she never looked back.
"I think I was intimidated by middle-schoolers," she admitted. "But they're really kind of funny. They're at an age where they still like to talk to you a bit, but they're maturing, growing. There's really no other age like it."
Curry said her job as the sole counselor for an entire school can be difficult, and "really stressful."
"Being just myself, the only counselor, that's hard," she explained. "There's a lot of sensitive topics that come up (and I need to) make sure I'm my best self."
When Curry isn't helping out children at Cedar Ridge, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, watching her girls play softball and participate in gymnastics. She also likes crafting together as a family, and recently took her daughters to their first concert for rock band The Killers.
Despite the stresses, Curry says it feels rewarding "knowing that I'm hopefully making a difference in some kids' lives and giving them some skills to be better contributing members of society.
"(I enjoy) just being able to help kids help themselves," she added. "Seeing students become proactive in school and social settings."