My name is Roya Dedeaux. I am a “grown homeschooler” currently working on my Master’s thesis at California State University, Long Beach. I was homeschooled from the age of ten on, growing up with my parents and two sisters in Southern California. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from CSULB. I am now 26 years old and working on my Master’s degree in Counseling in order to obtain my Marriage and Family Therapy license. I will graduate in May of 2012, and will then become a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern on my way to licensure.
My thesis will discuss the results of a national online survey, administered to adults who were homeschooled or homeschooled their children. The survey measured the influences on homeschooler’s attitudes towards seeking professional mental health services, along with several measurements of mental health (depression, anxiety, character strengths and overall happiness). As a homeschooler myself, I have heard many stories from my community about negative experiences with the mental health profession, so my motivation for doing this research is to gather information to teach therapists that will help our population, while painting an accurate picture of the homeschooling culture. The answers were anonymous, and only my thesis advisor and I had access to the results. I was overwhelmed by the support I had on my survey – over 1000 individuals responded within 7 days, from 48 different states. My survey closed on Nov. 1st, but I am looking for further support in the form of stories and anecdotes from homeschoolers regarding their experiences with seeking counseling, or why they have or have not chosen to. These can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. My thesis defense will be in March, 2012 so keep your eyes out for the published results of my survey!
Until just a few months ago I worked as the Access to Adventure Coordinator at a non-profit organization planning special events, travel opportunities, healthy living workshops, and art activities for adults with developmental disabilities. I have also worked as a teacher at the Young Adventurers daycare which focused on hands-on, experiential learning for approximately 250 children ages four through thirteen. I currently work at Mariposa Women & Family Center, a non-profit which provides low-cost counseling in Orange County, CA. I am an MFT trainee, working towards the 3000 hours I need to get my license, and I also am the Outreach and Prevention Counselor, and go into the community leading groups and workshops for underserved populations.
I live in Southern CA with my husband and our animals, and I love to MAKE STUFF!!! My passion lies in the heritage arts – knitting, quilting, crocheting, cross-stitching, candle making, and ceramics – things that used to be a necessity but now are an art form with utilitarian value. My goal is to one day own an art therapy camp with heritage and expressive arts as the focus. I specifically would like to better help people who have difficulty communicating verbally express themselves through a variety of different creative mediums.
Another interest I have is outdoor recreation and wilderness therapy. In the summer of 2007 I worked as an Assistant Back Country Ranger at Alaska State Parks maintaining 3 miles of trail, 4 cabins and campsite while interfacing between public users, park staff, and private land owners. This and other wilderness expedition adventures I have had are a large part of why I want to own a camp one day.
My personal interests include: swimming, hiking, camping, singing, gardening, cooking, unschooling, and positive psychology. I’m also interested in goal setting and motivation, and am very active on sparkpeople.com, and am usually working towards a 5k or fun-run. I keep a blog at royaboya.blogspot.com and sell my handmade arts and crafts at royaboya.etsy.com. I make bags, earrings, ceramics, coin purses and more! You can follow me at facebook.com/royaboya for more frequent updates.
Finally, I would like to extend an extra thanks to everyone who has responded to my survey, helped pass the link along, and who has expressed interest in me and my research. I am full of warm and fuzzy feelings for my fellow homeschoolers. Thank you also to the Homeschooling Teen magazine for their energy and support!