My Story, continued
Another formative factor was attending the Unitarian Church. It brought me in contact with college-educated people, concerned about social justice issues. Related to this, my mom loved to read, and we took many enjoyable trips to the library.
Neither of my parents attended college and were rather defensive about it -- and ambivalent about my going -- partly due to their not being able to help me pay for it. Whether I went or not was up to me.
My high school counselor told me that I was best suited for work as a carpenter or plumber. So, when I graduated, I went to work for California’s Franchise Tax Board alphabetizing tax returns and took a night course in Advanced Algebra at the local junior college.
One afternoon, I visited one of my favorite high school teachers, Rose Fucile. When I told her what I was doing, she looked me in the eye and said, "Larry, you need to be in a real college! You need to go to Sac State." It made a big impression on me. Five years later, with the help of NDEA loans and part-time jobs, I graduated from Sacramento State College with a teaching degree in Social Studies -- and I had a Peace Corps-type job lined up in Turkey.
I taught secondary school at Tarsus Amerikan Koleji, Tarsus, Turkey from 1963 to 1966. At the six-week orientation before going, I met my future wife, Jeanine Wehr -- always my strongest supporter. During the first year, I became fluent in Turkish and became good friends with many Turks. I worked with educators who had graduated from top universities like Harvard and Yale-- all committed to making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.
And, I met Louis Wilkins, who had just received his Masters degree in counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill. When I read his textbooks, I became quite excited about the field.
Jeanine and I were married in a Quaker ceremony in Istanbul in 1964. She, her family, and friends encouraged me to go to graduate school. Their support was crucial because I wasn't confident I had the ability. The short story is that I excelled and, upon graduation, worked as a school counselor in Rochester, NY.
While there, I received a flyer from the University of Missouri about their APA approved doctoral program in “Counseling Psychology”. I knew I wanted to learn more and be more effective, but did I have the ability? Again, I was encouraged by those around me -- and I graduated three years later, with honors.
For the next 25+ years, I worked at North Carolina State University preparing counselors at the Masters and doctoral levels. In 1997, Jeanine and I began The Career Key website as a philanthropy. As the enterprise grew, the career of philanthropist combined with business owner. It now includes our daughter Juliet (an accomplished labor relations attorney) as Vice President.
In my career, I was able to combine my top Holland personality types, Realistic and Social/Investigative, in a positive way: Helping people, in a practical way -- by applying the latest in counseling psychology research and practice to career counseling and guidance and making it easily accessible by way of the Internet, worldwide.
Working with statistics and technical issues in a predominantly Social profession was a great match. The Career Key, The Self-Employment Key, other measures, websites, books, and studies are the results of my lifelong research and work.
Looking back, I would say that these things have had the greatest influence. My values and interests -- I value helping others, learning, science, frugality, honesty, and practical things; I was drawn to people who shared these values who, in turn, helped me. Hard work -- I enjoy working hard at those things I value. Financial aid to go to school. Learning from experience, psychology, the writings and work of others, and those around me. Making good decisions. And, most important, the many people who helped me -- gave me love, confidence and support, and shared their knowledge and experience.
I hope you will benefit from this website. Our goal is to help you make the best career and educational choices possible. Best wishes for your success.