Carlette S. Mack, BA (’96) in Psychology and MA in Counseling Psychology (’01) is the Chief Operating Officer at the Covenant House, Alaska, where she began nineteen years ago as an undergraduate intern.
Carlette is a leader in the Anchorage community. She served on the YWCA board from 2003-2009 and currently serves on the Municipality of Anchorage Public Transit Advisory board. In 2004 she was a recipient for the Alaska Top 40 Under 40 award for professional excellence and community leadership.
What kind of skills have you taken into your career at the Covenant House?
My counseling courses taught me how to be a strong clinician and how to establish and maintain professional boundaries with clients. I use what I’ve learned every day, whether it is working with staff or clients. My education set the foundation for me being a strong advocate, program developer, visionary, and leader.
I’m thankful for the ability to make difficult decisions. I’m able to stop, look, and evaluate before making a decision.
What has it been like working with the youth?
I’ve always had a passion working with youth. The youth come here because they have nowhere else to go – they have no other option. Many experience episodes of homelessness where they have been in and out of the shelter a number of times. They each have dreams and goals and I believe they deserve the opportunity to become whatever they want, regardless of their past or what brought them through our doors. Our Mission is to love them unconditionally! That is why I work here!
Why did you choose APU?
I chose APU because of the size – you were not a number. Everyone knew your name. I was afraid of getting lost in a big school system.
APU had a support system that wrapped around the students – to help us be successful. You don’t always see that in bigger institutions.
I learned how to use my voice and speak up for issues that were important to me. I learned how to be fundraiser while working in ASAPU and the APU Development Department. I learned the value of collaboration and relationship building, skills that are essential to my job! I never imagined raising funds in my career, fundraising is part of my job.
Any particular professors you remember?
I still stay in touch with Lynn Paulson. I also had the privilege to be taught under Dr. Jeff Ickes and Ellen Cole. You felt like you were part of a family – it was a profound part of my life.
Why should someone donate to APU?
There is a huge value to private education. APU does things a big institution can not do. Experiential learning doesn’t happen elsewhere.
Donors want to know if their money is making a difference with people – and the fact that I am sitting in the position I am in today is an example of why their support is important.