Interview: Kelly Albrecht
Can you tell readers a little about yourself and what you do?
I am a professional school counselor, writer, wife, and mother of three boys. Yes, three boys. No, I don’t want a girl. No, they aren’t crazy. No, I’m not trying for a girl.
When you were young, what did you want to become?
When I was young I honest to god wanted to be Indiana Jones, minus the danger. I wanted to make discoveries and go to interesting place and be tough and smart at the same time. I was a kid who like museums more than amusement parks because things in the museum were real and actually happened. So Indiana Jones was pretty much it for me.
What made you choose your current career path?
I used to work at a church, as a youth leader. While that was a rewarding job, I began to find the religious aspect of it in conflict with my own values. I loved working with kids and loved being someone they could depend on. I did a lot of thinking about how I could do something similar without the church, and school counseling seemed like the perfect fit. I applied to grad school and started when I was 29 years old with two kids and a full time job. It was an hour commute to my night classes, and I would get home at 11 or so three nights a week. But through the support and encouragement of my husband, and my own hard work I finished three years later. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but failure was not an option for me.
What is something you’ve learned from your job?
Children absorb so much from the adults around them. If you speak negatively about yourself, others, or anything really, they will too. I’ve had first grade girls worried their winter coats made them look fat so they didn’t want to wear them outside at recess. Children are a reflection of their parents. So I guess something I’ve learned is for myself actually, which is to be a better parent.
We are never really done growing up. What do you hope to do in the future?
I will have a book published someday. I’ve written since I was a child. It’s something I think about every day. It’s my passion. It’s who I am. It will happen someday.
If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
Be nicer. It’s easy to be kind.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I have a lot of students at my school who count on seeing me everyday. I might be the only positive adult in their life. That’s a big responsibility. I may be the person they look back on in 20 years and say; she really made me feel like I was important when I didn’t feel important. That will get you out of bed quick.
Why do you think telling our stories is important?
People have told stories since we evolved the ability to speak and communicate. Stories about who we were ground us in who we will become. There is nothing more powerful than a story.
Do you have advice for girls growing up today?
If you could see the power in yourself, like I see it, you’d know there is nothing that could stop you.
Do you have any female figure you look up to? Real or fictional.
Margaret Atwood. She has really taken a genre that is dominated by males and made it her own. She’s the definition of not being defined by gender roles.
Can you tell us about a few of your favorite things?
The Outsiders, it changed my life in 7th grade
The Beatles and Beyoncé are really tied for me.
“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader, and a powerful woman as an anomaly.” –Margaret Atwood
What is your life motto?
I never thought about it really, but I guess, don’t let fear hold you back.