Investment & Outcomes


Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Patricia Elder

Patricia Elder '16

Master's in Mental Health Counseling

Hometown: Belle Glade, FL 

Describe your current job role:

I am a mental health and developmental clinician at Families First of Palm Beach County. I work with children and families who have experienced stress and trauma. Our primary goal is to strengthen the parent-child relationship to serve as a buffer to unavoidable stress and to help with the child’s emotional, lingual and cognitive growth. We provide home-based psychotherapeutic intervention. We offer genuine care and attention to young children and their caregivers in order to overcome current or generational barriers / strongholds that have created dysfunctional dynamics in the family system.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

 I had a few internships during my master’s program. I was a family support worker for the Healthy Families program. I was also a mentor in the Belle Glade community and worked for Kids Across America, Christian camps for urban youth.

 What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

You will learn through your experiences in the working profession what you need to know about yourself.

"...playing a role in starting the PBA Praise Gospel Choir taught me about discipline and discipleship."

 How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

In 2011, I graduated with a degree in psychology which built a foundation.  And working in the Student Accountability office and playing a role in starting the PBA Praise Gospel Choir taught me about discipline and discipleship. I also participated in prison ministry and community programs which fostered my natural, skilled and spiritual gifts. These experiences made me more open="open" and people oriented.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Never settle too long in a situation because you lack vision or confidence in your future.  Seek the kingdom of God and walk in its reality no matter where you are in life.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

The PBA counseling education professors put their hearts into developing who I am as a professional. They are experienced clinicians in my field and were crucial to developing me as a registered therapist. You should always have someone that cares about you; supervising and guiding you ino matter the profession.        

Spotlight posted in July 2018. For current updates from Patricia, find her on LinkedIn 

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