EU Alumni Perspective: Jacqueline Atkins
Name: Jacqueline (Jacquie) Atkins
Graduation Year: 2011/2013
Major: Undergraduate Human Services/Master Clinical Psychology
Current Position: Executive Director
City and State: Charleston, SC
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I serve as the executive director of Life Resources – a mental health nonprofit devoted to providing life transforming resources that foster emotional, spiritual and relational wellness through healing, equipping, and training from a Christian faith integrated foundation.
I additionally serve as a therapist one day per week.
My overall purpose as executive director is to be responsible for the viability of our organization. It is my goal to provide oversight that will ensure the long-term sustainability of Life Resources as an emotional, spiritual, and relational wellness resource center in our community. I desire to see people working within their respective skill sets to accomplish the mission before us. As Jim Collins quotes in Good to Great, “Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus.” My primary function as executive director is to guarantee the right people are in the right seats to see this organization thrive for the sake of our community.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
My favorite memory from Evangel is the mission trip to Kenya with the Counseling Department. The mighty team of 14 Evangel students in the Counseling Department spent 2 ½ weeks in Kenya serving Teen Challenge participants, high school students, and children in an orphanage. We were able to utilize therapeutic interventions, minister to, and love on the Kenyans. Our group was joined with indigenous counseling students to complete the mission and train the Kenyans.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
Through the amazing leadership of professors such as Dr. Chris Arnzen, Dr. Sheri Philips, Dr. Melody Palm, and Dr. Geoff Sutton, I was able to discern the calling of the Lord. Through reading The Call by Os Guinness and God at Work by Veith coupled with prayer and utilizing the Strength Finder assessment, I was able to discern the call to lead a non-profit, faith-based counseling center. The close friendships I developed within my co-hort also assisted in praying for and discerning my path.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Evangel prepared me with a solid education that gave me the confidence to move forward in life after graduation. Evangel also provided mentorship, fostering relationships within the community and inside our co-hort.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Ask questions, interview those in your desired field, research an organization where you will be interviewed, and most importantly – be flexible.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
I am in a position of hiring. I look for graduates that have an excellent academic record coupled with real-life experience. The experience can come from paid positions or volunteer opportunities. I also look for individuals that have good communication skills, both verbally and written.