The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Glovsky are committed to helping make higher education accessible to everyone.To this end, Scott Glovsky has established a $1,000 scholarship with the purpose of supporting someone who has used resilience to recover from a destructive situation.
We’re excited to announce the winner of the 2019 Power of Resilience Scholarship is Michaela Goodloe. Congratulations Michaela! Learn more about Michaela below:
Michaela grew up in West Jordan, Utah. She is the oldest of four children. She loved music growing up and started playing guitar at twelve and taking voice lessons at fourteen. She loved writing music and performing. After graduating high school in 2015, Michaela earned her Associates degree in Vocal Music Performance at Snow College. She then transferred to Utah State University where she is currently enrolled in the Music Therapy undergraduate program.
Michaela is passionate about furthering research in the music therapy field, particularly in areas involving adolescents using clinical songwriting and improvisation. Over the past few years, she has worked to gain professional experience with different populations. She worked as a mental health technician in a residential treatment facility for teens dealing with the effects of significant trauma. This facility is where her interest in helping survivors of sexual assault began as she first witnessed the terrifying and life-altering effects that came with PTSD. Currently she works as a mentor for a program at her university that gives individuals with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to attend college and receive real college credit.
Michaela said, “I am so grateful for this scholarship and cannot express how much of a difference this will make in my life as I continue my education. Although awareness of sexual assault has been on the rise in recent years, there is still a long way to go for victims to receive the support they need as they cope with the aftermath of the traumatic event. I am fortunate enough to attend a university with an incredible support system, but I know that many survivors do not have that opportunity. I appreciate the work that the Law Offices of Scott Glovsky does to advocate for victims and hope to see others follow.”
2019 Winning Essay
In March of 2019 my dream came true. I was accepted into the prestigious music therapy program at Utah State University. This was a goal I had been working towards for years and I had finally made it. After nearly completing a degree in vocal performance at another university, I realized that I needed to be doing something to help others. I knew that music therapy was my true calling in life and I was willing to do anything to make that happen. After receiving my acceptance letter, it seemed like things were finally starting to fall into place for me. However, in August of 2019 just weeks before I was to begin my studies, my world came crashing down. I was sexually assaulted.
I have always considered myself a strong person. I have always been very independent and able to stand up for myself. As I dealt with the aftermath of my assault, I felt incredibly weak and helpless. I felt shame and guilt, thinking that what happened was my fault. At first I didn’t even realize what had happened, I could not grasp the fact that I was raped. That seemed like too strong of a word and something that couldn’t have happened to me.
I knew that I needed help, so I scheduled an appointment with my university’s counselling center. I explained what happened to the woman who was conducting my assessment and she said the words for the first time: “Michaela, you were raped.” I was in disbelief but I knew it was true. It was something that had crossed my mind, but I never allowed myself to entertain the thought because of the guilt and shame that I felt surrounding the event. I decided to go to the sexual assault resource center on campus. I walked past the office door at least a dozen times, trying to work up the courage to walk inside. I knew that opening the door was accepting the fact that someone had raped me. I walked in the office and filled out the intake paperwork. I felt less alone. I was introduced to the therapist there and was able to set up an appointment with her. I was so lost but grateful for a place to find answers.
My first therapy session was difficult. My therapist explained to me that I experienced an extremely traumatic event and that I was displaying signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have worked in the mental health field, specifically with adolescents with trauma so I was familiar with the diagnosis but still found it hard to believe I had it. She explained to me that I was likely to experience physical symptoms including heightened senses, increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, nausea, and headaches. We also discussed the emotional symptoms of guilt, shame, cognitive impairments, difficulty concentrating, and agitation. I could immediately identify with many of these symptoms but unfortunately, this was only the beginning of my journey to deal with and overcome these added trials.
I thought that I would be able to work through these struggles and that I would be back to “normal” in no time. I had to focus on my studies, and I did not want my trauma to get in the way of what I had worked so hard for. The person who assaulted me had already taken so much away from me; I was not going to allow him to take my dream of becoming a music therapist as well. I worked hard in therapy twice a week to try to learn how to shift my mindset and convince myself that I was not in danger anymore, but I was not making progress as quickly as I had hoped. After weeks of therapy things felt unbearable. I was unable to concentrate on homework or in class, I couldn’t sleep, I was in a constant state of paranoia. This drove me to an extremely suicidal state. I was scared. I didn’t want to die, but it seemed like the only way to escape. I allowed myself to breath for a few days and really come to terms with what was happening. I realized during this time that I had two options. I could give up on life, giving my rapist the ultimate victory, or I could use my traumatic experience as fuel to obtain the ultimate revenge – success.
I continued therapy and faced the difficult details of my assault. I worked with my professors and therapist to create beauty out of something so ugly. I have always wanted to use music therapy to help survivors of sexual assault and suddenly I was a survivor as well. I learned that I could use my experience to increase my own empathy as a music therapist and help so many people in similar situations. I brainstormed different ways of using music to treat symptoms of trauma with my professors and learned so much about who I am and what I want to do with my talent and experience.
I hope that through my experience, others can learn that no matter how horrible the situation is, there is nothing you cannot overcome and there is always a silver lining. It can be so hard to try to see the positive when the situation seems so negative, but it is possible and will help you overcome whatever obstacle you face.
I am still working on my healing journey, but I have seen the importance of resilience. I could have given up. I could have allowed my cognitive impairments and lack of concentration to defeat me in my academic success, but I was able to achieve above a 3.0 GPA this past semester. I could have given up my dream of working as a music therapist for survivors in similar situations because it was difficult to talk about, but I decided to use my experience to fuel that dream. I could have ended my life when things seemed unbearable, but I didn’t. That is resilience. I am a survivor. I am resilient.