Alumni Profiles - Jada Collins
Whether fresh off the runways of Paris or working in a counseling center in Florida, fashion model and counselor Jada Collins loves helping others. However, it wasn't until several life experiences exposed her penchant for counseling that she decided to pursue it as a career.
Serving others has always been second nature for Jada. While touring with Ebony Fashion Fair, Jada says that she often found herself ministering to other young ladies in the modeling industry — even holding Bible studies in her hotel room — and advising them on countless issues from emotional insecurities to sexual abuse.
While modeling initially took her away from pursuing her undergraduate degree, Jada decided to return to school to study a field that would open new doors beyond the fashion industry. She chose Regent University because of its commitment to Christian values and earned a degree in professional communication.
While working as a youth pastor during that time, Jada realized how much counseling interested her. “I was counseling all the time,” she explains, “and I thought to myself, ‘I think I need some more training in this area.’”
When she learned that Regent offered a master's degree in Human Services Counseling, it seemed like the perfect next step. She says she found the rigorous online program to be exactly what she needed.
“I value what Regent did for me because I was 100 percent prepared going into my environment for counseling,” Jada says. “My education prepared me and gave me not only the credibility but also the courage to know what I'm saying as far as from a counselor's perspective — that I'm really speaking into their lives.”
She appreciates how the program taught her to incorporate faith into her counseling sessions.
“To be able to make that connection and build rapport with them to not only offer them help but to maybe redefine their Christian understanding of God, and embrace a different concept than what they've been believing thus far, that is very rewarding,” she explains.
Though she still models, Jada feels that counseling is the primary work God has for her at this stage of her life. She is thankful for the degree that has allowed her to do it.
“Truthfully, Regent changed my life,” she says. “There's an element of gratification that comes along with doing what I know that God has called me to do.”