Thea Deanon, a high school senior on a path to becoming a therapist, decided to enroll in Running Start after she was inspired watching her older brother go through the program. “I thought it was a cool experience and it saved a lot of money. I thought it would be a lot of fun,” she said.
Independence is important to Thea. She manages her class schedule, work schedule, and social schedule in a way that high school didn’t allow, and that’s something that sets Thea up for success—both academically and socially-emotionally. Running Start gives her that independence while also presenting her with opportunities to grow.
"Growing up as an Asian-American, mental health wasn't prioritized in my family," Thea said. She says experiencing trauma, including losing her mother at 17, has helped her realize the importance of prioritizing mental health.
“The support at SPSCC compared to high school is different. Counseling Services encompasses more of your life outside of school, not just academics.”
It’s also something that she advocates for on behalf of others. "I think mental health is important to the way you live life, and I'm especially recognizing that now as a high school senior."
Another way she’s growing through independence is through student leadership at SPSCC. Thea is part of the Campus Activities Board, a group of students that plan Student Life events, and a member of the student social media team.
Thea will graduate in June 2021 with an associate in arts direct transfer degree and plans to transfer to a four year institution where she’ll major in psychology. She wants to become a therapist and hopes to have her own practice one day.