MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hello, everyone. It is such an honor to be serving as the President of the Louisiana Counseling Association for the 2021-2022 term. Thank you for your interest and membership in LCA. I am honored to be part of such an amazing group of professionals, all in the business of helping people live their best lives.

While we are coming out of a global pandemic, we are still very much in one. As such, it is such an interesting time to step into the role of President for a state counseling association. There are so many people seeking out mental health due to current and residual effects from dealing with everything involved with COVID-19. I sincerely hope everyone is taking good care of themselves and ensuring that they are in a place to help others. I am proud to be a part of an association that prepares and supports professionals to do the work they do with clients. Let us all continue to strive to be the best we can be for ourselves, and for the clients we serve.

When I ran for LCA president in 2018, I discussed the importance of addressing the needs of our diverse divisions and ensuring that each feels that their collective voice is heard. Collaboration, teamwork, and diversity are qualities I embrace. It is my belief that everyone is valuable and each division and affiliate has a place at the table when making any decision related to our shared vision as members of our profession of counseling. Comradery and building lasting relationships are absolutely perks of working alongside fellow counselors and graduate students. If we are not learning something new each day, we are missing out. It is for that reason that I feel it crucial to address the needs of the diverse divisions of LCA. Participating in the Overcoming Racism intensive sessions has been such a valuable experience as a state counseling leader and will remain at the forefront of all LCA endeavors in the years to come.

While we decided two years ago to have our conference in New Orleans at the Crowne Astor Plaza, our plans unfortunately changed earlier this year due to the coronavirus, and we had to make the decision to remain virtual. As a result, we are dedicated to offering a cutting-edge conference, through our new Tradewing Platform. The theme for the conference this year is "Be Inspired: Ignite your Passion and Fuel your Purpose." In thinking about a theme for my conference as the LCA 2021-2022 President, I wanted to encourage everyone to remember why they were called to this profession. I wanted people to remember what it was that excited them about wanting to do this work. I wanted people to be excited about counseling and to feel inspired from attending the conference. We all need to continue the great work of our former theorists and counseling leaders. The pandemic altered our in-person plans for conference this year so we will make the best of it with an amazing keynote speaker, cutting-edge sessions, and a new platform in which to network with others. Let us all remember what brought us to this profession and let us all be inspired to ignite our passion and fuel our purpose.

It is my desire to serve LCA as President to the best of my ability. I welcome any feedback on how LCA can grow and best serve our membership, community, and profession. Thank you for this opportunity.

Reshelle Marino, PhD, LPC-S

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