Twenty years. For the first time in twenty years, we don’t have a child going back to school this fall. It all started with Kayla starting school just before she turned five years old. In April, she received her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati (UC). We thought her educational journey was finally complete.

But, there was one last hurdle. She had to get her license from the state of Ohio. We thought this would be easy. She had met all of the requirements for graduation. She passed her graduation test. Just pass the state licensing test, a background check, and submit your transcript from UC and you’re done. Ha! Nothing is ever as easy at it seems.

It took weeks to schedule the test. She graduated on April 30th. She couldn’t take the test until June.  She passed the test easily. They told her she had passed before she left the testing center. She had her employer run the background check and submit it. She paid UC to send her transcript to the licensing board. It should be just sitting back and waiting now.

And she waited. And waited. When she called to find out what the hold up was, the board said they don’t accept background checks from agencies like her employer. It would have been nice if her employer knew that since her promotion was riding on her getting her license. But, no big deal. She had a background check run elsewhere and submitted that. More waiting… The next time she called they said they didn’t have proof she had passed the exam. She was told the day she took the test that she passed. But, they didn’t provide her with anything official. She had to have the testing agency send the scores again. They tried to extort $80 from her. She refused to pay it and they sent it over again.

More waiting… She called the licensing board again. This time they told her they had not received her “conferred transcript”.  This was educational for me. I had never heard of a conferred transcript or a conferred degree. On graduation day, you’re not officially graduated until the degree is “conferred”. Kayla had requested her transcript on May 7th, a week after graduation. The University obliged and sent the transcript right away. The problem? The University did not confer the degrees until May 18th. The transcript they sent to the licensing board was not worth the digital paper it was printed on. We learned of all of this when Kayla made what seemed like her 100th phone call trying to navigate this maze.

Finally, a week ago this past Monday, almost four months after graduation, the licensing board recognized Kayla as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Today, September 1st, she starts in her new role at National Youth Advocacy Program as a full-time Licensed Professional Counselor.

Dreams can come true with hard work and perseverance. I could not be more proud of Kayla for having stuck it out. It seems like only yesterday, we were working with her, learning to read her “Bob books”. Today, they arrived in the mail from my sister-in-law who used them to teach her boys to read. We’ll hold onto them for Kayla in case she ever has little ones.

Kayla crossed a major milestone and the journey continues.

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