Bill would give $25,000 to aspiring school counselors, social workers

Bill would give $25,000 to aspiring school counselors, social workers

Bailey Adling would stay up some days until 3 a.m. studying for his master’s degree in school counseling, and then wake up at 7 a.m. to work a full day as a substitute teacher. He was so exhausted he often considered dropping out of the program.

While Priscilla Park was enrolled full-time in her graduate school counseling program, she taught school during the day and gave up her social life, while still paying off her six-figure undergraduate loans.

Even the state’s top educator, Superintendent Tony Thurmond, struggled to make ends meet while earning his master’s in social work 20 years ago. If he hadn’t had a paying internship, he said, he never would have managed.

Now Thurmond is pushing for a bill that would provide up to $25,000 in grants for students pursuing careers in school counseling, social work and other fields related to youth mental health. Senate bill 1229 aims to bring 10,000 new mental health professionals to California young people, who’ve struggled with soaring rates of depression, anxiety and stress.

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