Sarah Sizemore, a 2020 bachelor of criminal justice grad has earned her credentials as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor through the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. Before completing her bachelor’s degree, she earned associate degrees from Ohio University in social science and in applied studies (Law Enforcement Technology). She works with people in recovery as a counselor for Mended Reeds Mental Health which is based in Grayson, Kentucky. Sizemore supports people in recovery through individual counseling, group counseling, and case management.
Sizemore said her interest in law enforcement and her inspiration for entering the Law Enforcement Technology program at Ohio University Southern stemmed from watching police shows on tv and her related desire to become a detective. As a student in the Law Enforcement Technology program at Ohio University Southern she had the opportunity to intern with the Ashland Police Department and later worked in corrections for STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio.
After getting experience working in the field of corrections, Sizemore decided to change direction. Though law enforcement and corrections may seem very different from the work she is doing now as a counselor, the common threads are service to others and helping to solve problems. “I like the idea of directly helping people,” said Sizemore. She also likes figuring out puzzles and relies on her problem-solving skills in her work as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. “You have to be able to read people,” explained Sizemore. “They’re not going to be very honest with you when they are first starting recovery. You have to figure out what their past is so you can plan for the best way to help them.”
Highlights from her coursework at OHIO Southern included Law Enforcement Technology courses taught by James Stephens, sociology classes, and a philosophy class taught by Deron Newman, according to Sizemore. “That course opened my eyes to the importance of helping people,” she said.
Sizemore explained that her criminal justice degree helped her to qualify her for her license as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and as a Qualified Mental Health Specialist in addition to helping her learn how to deal with different types of behaviors in her work in corrections and recovery.
She appreciates being able to help people who are struggling and needing support. “You see the good and bad in people. It’s nice to help people get their lives back together,” Sizemore said. “Everybody deserves a second chance.”