Finding a Place: Carla Contreras G’13

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After working with at-risk youth in her home country of Chile, Carla Contreras G’13 wanted to further her education in order to help others more effectively. She decided to pursue a MS in Counseling at Cairn because the program provided the biblical integration and professional training she was looking for.

During her studies, she received instruction and participated in labs that brought about significant transformation in her. Her degree led her to an internship with The Place of Refuge: a counseling center in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia that serves the needs of its predominantly Latino community. Five years later, she remains there on staff.

“To be able to bring what I was able to receive at Cairn to a community that usually doesn’t get to experience counseling in a professional, compassionate, respectful way . . . it’s only something that God could
have put in place,” Carla explains.

Carla’s time at Cairn gave her the preparation she needed to effectively integrate her faith and her work. For the foreseeable future, she plans to keep using what she learned in the Kensington community.

“I am convinced that God wants me here,” Carla says. “I feel a lot of peace and a lot of gratitude for being able to serve in this community.”