Today we’d like to introduce you to Aya Hackett.
Aya, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Aya Hackett, I am currently 28 years old and I was born and raised in Inglewood, California. I would say that I’ve always been an individual who enjoyed creative arts and has always been social. After graduating from Arizona State University with a major in Communications and Mass Media I started to tap into my entrepreneurial side and created an event planning company with some friends I met on my journey after college. During this time, I believe is when I discovered that curating ideas and seeing them execute was a passion of mine.
At the time, my mother spoke to me about going back to graduate school but I did not know what I would exactly focus on. After much prayer and soul-searching, I figured out that I absolutely love creative arts and helping others which then led me to the University of Southern California where I received my Master Degree in Social Work.
Initially, my goal was to go into this masters program with a macro approach of learning how to develop my own creative arts program for at-risk youth and less fortunate families within my community. During my time at USC, I was introduced to the therapeutic side of social work and that is when I realized I wanted to learn more about how to actually connect with the community by helping individuals overcome any psychosocial concerns they may be dealing with. With this, I want to be able to give individuals the opportunity to break down any barriers or obstacles they have by incorporating creative arts (theatre, music, visual arts and expressive writing) through therapy services.
I discovered the word ‘Soul worker’ because I would honestly get annoyed at the negative connotation people had with social workers and I wanted to put a twist on it with a positive vibe. Through all of this, I appreciate the journey so much because now I have found my purpose and what I was meant to be doing all along.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was definitely not a smooth road. Before getting into my purpose, I felt like I was having an early mid-life crisis. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life or where I saw myself going but all in all, it has molded me into who I am today.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Soul Worker – what should we know?
I am a Mental Health Therapist and I am currently working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I work with individuals from ages 5-21 as of right now who are dealing with a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. I am most proud when I feel like I am able to come into someone’s life and help shift their thought process and potentially save their life. It’s honestly a rewarding feeling especially when they let you know that you have made some type of impact in their life.
I believe what sets me apart from others is that I am not judgmental. I try to understand everyone’s story without comparing or talking down to them. I also try to make therapy fun and enjoyable because some people I come in contact with have stated they had bad experiences with a therapist or it was “Boring”.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Having an open mind and an open heart.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: peaceloveaya