Traveling across continents to continue her education and moving between districts, Akiko Chung is excited for her first semester as Lynbrook’s new school-based therapist.
Chung first came to the United States when she was a high schooler, drawn by the educational system here. She lived independently by herself and adjusted to her a new life of cultural and language barriers. It was difficult for her to understand English, and since she had lived in Japan her entire childhood, attending high school in America was a drastic change. However, she still persevered and worked to create her own support system. Later on, she discovered her passion for helping others in the form of therapy, seeking to aid others in adjusting to difficult changes in their lives, just as she had to adjust when she came to America.
“Meeting new people and creating support systems in a new environment can be difficult,” Chung said. “I struggled with it when I moved from Japan, so I understood what students are going through, which really motivated me to go into this field.”
Before coming to Lynbrook, Chung worked for a non-profit therapy organization in San Jose, and later at Cupertino Unified School District for four years. During her time at the non-profit, Chung worked with students that suffered from homelessness or other stress factors relating to their living conditions. After transitioning to a school-based therapist, she was able to better understand different types of stressors among students, ranging from poverty to academic stress, and help them individually based on their circumstances.
Chung hopes to continue supporting Lynbrook students by taking walk-ins throughout the day. As a new therapist, Chung is amazed by how resilient Lynbrook students are and their ability to reach high expectations, claiming that while she isn’t familiar yet with the therapy system at Lynbrook yet, she is hopeful about future interactions with Lynbrook students.
“I am really impressed, and I hope Lynbrook students continue to thrive in whatever direction they decide to go,” Chung said. “And I hope that whatever decision they make, it is based on their desires.”
To connect with her Japanese origins after transitioning to the U.S., Chung enjoys watching anime on Crunchyroll while at home. One of her favorite shows includes Detective Conan, an anime she has watched since childhood in Japan. She also goes on walks during her spare time, taking time to relax in nature as she separates work from life.