Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet Our New Intern...Jessica Bello

By Jinna Marbry, B.S.
Fountain Gate CC Program Manager

Jessica Bello, Clinical Intern
Jessica Bello, Clinical Intern
     On May 21, 2013 Fountain Gate launched the second year of its internship program with the addition of two new interns to the family. Jessica Bello and Bruce Knight are graduate level interns from Richmont Graduate University in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) Program. As we welcome our counselors into the fold we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the second of our interns in this newsletter.

    Please welcome our new intern…Jessica Bello.

     Jessica Bello, was born the normal Orange County California girl; she grew up loving the sunshine and fast paced American lifestyle, quite the opposite of her traditional Colombian parents.
    Even as a child Jessica had a desire for helping others and enjoyed observing how people communicated with one another. It was this desire that eventually led to Jessica become a school teacher working with elementary and middle-school children in both Colombia and Georgia. Yet it was Jessica’s Christian faith that would lead to her most important steps of becoming a pastor’s wife and seeking a career in counseling.
    In 2008, Jessica thought her life was all planned out; she had just married her husband of two weeks, David (Youth Pastor at Iglesia Nuevo Horizonte Church) and was looking forward to settling into a bright future. However, Jessica’s life was turned upside down upon hearing that her mother, Bertha, who now lived in Colombia, was diagnosed with cancer.

     In weighing the options Jessica and David decided that their only choice was to move to Colombia and care for Bertha.

     It was in Colombia that the couple soon found out that Jessica was pregnant. With the mounting pressures of coping with a terminally ill parent, a new husband, and a baby on the way, Jessica found the need to seek help through counseling.

     “In the midst of this entire crisis, I began to see a counselor. I needed to grieve the loss of a mom, an unplanned pregnancy during such a time, and the loss of dreams I had for a life prior to children,” said Bello.

     Yet it was through counseling that Jessica found her true call for helping others facing such overwhelming life changes.

     “I honestly do not know where I would be today had I not had the support, tools, and permission to just be, through counseling. I now have a desire to walk alongside people through their lonely, hard, and dark moments in life.”

     It was not an easy task being a pastor’s wife with two small children (3-year-old Felipe and 1-year-old Rebeca) and attending graduate school. Yet with unending faith Jessica took her first steps onto a new career path and entered into the MAMFT Program at Richmont Graduate University.
     “I think the biggest challenge has been balancing my life. Between working and going to school while having two children and a husband; let me just say I have been busy.”
     “What I have been surprised by however is the support that my husband has given me. He is my biggest cheerleader in completing my education. There are many times at the end of my school semester I look at the past calendar and wonder, ‘how in the world did I get through all that?’ I cannot help but know that God has given me and my husband the strength to get through the semester.”

     It is also through the volunteer work at the Bellos’ local church, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, that Jessica has found her passion in counseling.

     “I love working with women and families. In addition, I am fluent in Spanish and English and have a longing for working in the Hispanic community.”
     With such a bright future ahead the Fountain Gate Counseling team is excited to have Jessica with us for the coming year and cannot wait to see how the gifts she brings will help us to reach a whole new community.