Psychology Alumnus Bleeds Black and Gold

Perham Photo

Steven Perham, ’12, ’14, attributes his confidence and success in his counseling career to his time spent at UCF.

Graduating with his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCF, Perham went on to earn his master’s degree from UCF’s Clinical Psychology program.

“My UCF degrees trained me to work my hardest as a clinician, and I’m confident in my performance because I know I learned from a great group of faculty,” he stated.

Perham also accumulated career experience through various extracurricular opportunities at the university. Working as a teaching assistant for a psychology class for three semesters and a peer advisor in the UCF Psychology Department, he made it his job be involved in UCF as much as possible.

Now, Perham serves as a FOCUS counselor for Aspire Health Partners in Orlando, providing prevention counseling for individuals, families, and groups for people of all ages within the community and throughout various schools. He is also working towards becoming a licensed mental health counselor.

Perham shared more on his involvement with UCF, highlights of his career, and advice to current students and alumni in his spotlight responses below.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I chose to attend UCF after seeing it had everything I could hope for in a university and so much more. The location is great, I didn’t have to move too far away from my family and there is so much to do in Orlando. The classes offered all sounded very interesting and fit my interests perfectly. All athletic programs were all right there on campus to enjoy all year long. UCF was simply a perfect fit for me.

What is your best UCF memory?

As a huge sports fan, my best UCF memory comes from being at the 2013 UCF vs. USF football game. Like most rivalry games, both teams gave it their all and it was a fight to the end. With UCF ranked and having the school’s best season ever so far in football, UCF was able to defeat USF for the first time and secured at least a share of the first ever American Athletic Conference championship. The game was extra memorable for me because it was the final home game before graduation after 6 great years as a student and I had won passes to be on the field before the start of the game. It was truly a night to remember for me.

Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

As an alumnus, I stay involved with UCF as much as I can. I always make sure to buy football season tickets to support the team since I am a huge supporter and fan of all UCF sports. I always have only great things to say about the university and I’m always excited to tell others about the opportunities they provide. There are people I have known for years that have only seen me wearing UCF shirts outside of work because I have an entire closet full of them. I even went as far as making sure I had UCF cuff-links and a custom made Knightro themed cake topper at my wedding.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is being able to help make a difference in the lives of those who are in need. I get to meet wonderful people from all different backgrounds of life and get to be a part of the process which allows them to become more empowered in their own lives. Seeing the transformation a person goes through from the first day they walk in, to their first counseling session, through the last day when they are ready to part ways is always amazing to me. Being a part of that experience with them and seeing how much progress people can make in a short period of time is very rewarding.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

My most memorable experience from my job took place around the holiday season only a few months after I began working. As an organization which is oriented around being an involved part of the community, every Christmas season there is a charity event in which donated toys are provided to the children of the community. Being able to see a room filled with toys provided for the kids was amazing, and getting to watch over one hundred children walk through that room to select what they wanted and seeing how grateful they were was very memorable.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

My biggest piece of advice I can give is challenge yourself to improve whenever you can without letting a fear of failing stopping you. If you never try at all, nothing is going to change. If you try and it doesn’t work out like you had hoped, at least you are learning from your experiences. When you put in effort, you will learn new things about yourself.  We grow from both our successes and our failures, but it is up to us to take action.

What do you do for fun?

Aside from all of the sports which I’m sure I have mentioned enough, one thing I love to do for fun is bowling. My father and I are pretty competitive with each other in bowling and it’s a hobby which I am always looking to improve in and I even take part in a bowling league. I also enjoy quiet nights in having game nights along with my wife and friends of ours. I much prefer a quiet gathering of some close friends over going out in the crowd.



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