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Kelly Priest

Kelly Priest

Kelly Priest & Associates

"Once I'd realized I could make a real difference in people's lives, I knew that the rest would take care of itself."

Career Roadmap

Kelly's work combines: Education, Entrepreneurship, and Helping People

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Day In The Life

Social Learning Specialist

I teach adults how to help children with social learning while respecting their mental health needs.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

    Randolph School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Organizational Communication, General

    The University of Alabama

  • Graduate Degree

    Clinical Psychology

    Alabama A & M University

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Child, Family, and School Social Workers:

High School

Bachelor's Degree: Organizational Communication, General

Graduate Degree: Clinical Psychology

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

I've taken a lot of twists and turns

  • 1.

    In college, the Strong Interest Inventory suggested I be a lawyer, reporter, psychologist, or clergy.

  • 2.

    I majored in journalism and worked as a copy editor. I thought that was safer than going into psych.

  • 3.

    I didn't love it.

  • 4.

    I started volunteering in juvenile court and thought law school might be a good path for me.

  • 5.

    I left after my first week of law school and decided to pursue a master's degree instead.

  • 6.

    After completing my degree, I spent some time working in the child maltreatment field.

  • 7.

    When my child was diagnosed with autism, I saw an opportunity to help.

  • 8.

    I created a job that combines my unique perspective and my clinical knowledge.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Society in general:

    To get a job in psychology you'll have to get your Ph.D., which is practically impossible. If you don't get a PhD, you'll make no money and you'll be changing bedpans in a psych ward.

  • How I responded:

    Trying different things and being honest with myself that they were not my passion eventually steered me into psychology. Having ADHD and a low boredom tolerance also kind of forced me to pursue my passion! Knowing that I could actually make a difference in this field, that I was talented in this area, and figuring out that I didn't have to follow a traditional path also helped. Once I'd realized I could make a real difference in people's lives, I knew that the rest would take care of itself.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • As I became more attuned to the subtleties of attention issues, I realized that I might have ADHD. I was formally diagnosed in my early 40s. I've worked with professionals to learn how ADHD affects me & my work, and to adapt. Medication also helps!