Michele M. Fry (’97, ’16)
“My Clarks Summit University experience has been a two-decade journey where I have found an opportunity for my education at every stage of my adult life,” says Michele Fry, from Solon, Ohio. Fry met her husband while earning her undergraduate degree at CSU in the ’90s and more recently earned her Master of Science in Counseling at the university.
In the graduate program, she learned technology progressions, bioethics, social outreach for abused children lost in the foster care system and the helping relationship of counseling. “Unbeknownst to me, God had a plan to merge all of these interests into one for His purposes during my practicum and internship,” Fry explains.
Life and Study Intersect
When Fry and her husband adopted a sibling group, she discovered a lack of resources and support for parenting children who’ve experienced hard situations. “I was determined to help others who were struggling in the same situation,” Fry says. She started a foster care and adoption support group, which is now more than 100 members strong.
Through the group, she met her future practicum and internship supervisor who was starting his own Christian counseling office. One year later, Hope Behavioral Health grew from that two-person team to a five-office main campus with four satellite offices in local churches.
Compassion for Trafficking Victims
Fry became the main counselor for Rahab Ministry at HBH, which rescues women and girls from the sex trade and brings them to a safe house where they can detox and heal physically and spiritually. She explains, “I create effective therapy tools that help these daughters of God, redeemed and unredeemed, with tangible needs that translate into internal and eternal understanding.” Fry also developed a connection site for clients to use remotely. She hopes to soon open a HBH Neurofeedback Center to help clients with addictions, PTSD, ADD, ADHD, TBI and autism.
Looking Back, Moving Forward
Fry is thankful for the way God has directed her path since her first class at CSU. “Learning how to communicate love and Christ with people in the helping relationship was clearly demonstrated by the professors,” she says, “Having the freedom and ability to explore my faith and relationship to God in a real, authentic way was crucial to my growth.”
Erika A. Brucker (’04)