Mindy Bediako decided to further her education to help people in their everyday lives. She is in graduate school at the University of Cincinnati (UC) with the goal of one day becoming a mental health counselor.
Bediako is a Ghanaian American who was born and raised in Dublin, Ohio. As a child, she was shy but loved to observe the world around her. She would later on eventually come out of her shell and become more outspoken. In middle school and high school, the part of her that was always observant and curious never left her personality.
"I wanted to understand people more on a different level," said Bediako.
While obtaining her bachelor's degree in psychology at UC, she was heavily involved in student organizations on campus. She sang in the African American Cultural Resource Center (AACRC) choir and was a part of the Habari Gani ambassador program. She was also a member of student government, where she had the opportunity to actively voice her opinion for people of color.
Not long after, as a junior, she became the Ethnic and Cultural Services director and the co-chair of the Equity Inclusion and Committee. Later on, in her undergraduate career, Bediako became the sole chair of Equity and Inclusion and got involved in a committee for student survivors of sexual assault.
Although Bediako loved helping people her whole life, she didn't realize her true passion for psychology until her senior year of high school when she took a psychology and sociology class. Even though her classes were introduction level courses, she felt that psychology was where she belonged.
"It really made me happy to actually learn about how people worked, and I knew I wanted that feeling for the rest of my life," she said. "[By] being able to know how to serve people, I feel like that's how you can become a better person and a better part of the world."
There are many different paths that Bediako could have taken with psychology. Although she enjoyed undergraduate research, she wanted a more hands-on environment.
"I felt like I wanted to know how to build a better connection with other people, and I really value that connection," she said.
By pursuing counseling, she can fulfill her desire to assist people in need truly. "I just want to help people succeed," said Bediako.
She is very grateful to graduate from a department that was so encouraging and caring. Even though she graduated during the pandemic and was the first in her immediate family to complete a bachelor's degree, she will always remember feeling so loved and empowered by her family and friends.
After Bediako graduates with her master's degree at UC, she has to do counseling under supervision for two years before counseling someone personally. However, she hopes to one day work in a motivational environment concerned about the client's well-being. No matter where Bediako ends up for her next path in life as a mental health counselor, she wants to advocate for marginalized communities.