Growing up my parents were a huge influence on my work ethic and desire to work in the social work field. My dad always made sure to carve out time to volunteer with victims of domestic violence, The Lions Club and as Guardian Ad Litem for the court system. Throughout my life I watched my father make a difference in lives as others. My mom instilled in me there was nothing I could not achieve through hard-work, passion and dedication. Her words especially held true throughout my early academic years as I learned to excel academically despite having learning challenges.
The beginning of my social work career started when I worked part-time in an elementary school with “at risk youth”. While working on my bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, I did my internship for the Department of Children and Families in Protective Services, who later hired me upon graduation. The next transition of my career provided me with an opportunity to work as a Case Manager for a program designed to move people into financial self-sufficiency. It was during this time I decided to go back to school to pursue a Master’s Degree in social work from the University of Central Florida. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with my master’s degree, I was promoted to Program Manager providing oversight to programs that provided services for households needing emergency financial assistance. Through my experience as a Program Manager I had the opportunity to facilitate training for Central Florida Non-Profits who were applying for county funding to expand or sustain services. I obtained my license while working as a hospice social worker and worked in positions where I worked with geriatric and disabled populations. Throughout my entire career, I have had the opportunity to work with students completing internships and currently supervise Registered Clinical Interns working toward licensure. Working as a Therapist has given me experience with treating a variety of mental health disorders. My passion is working with adults, geriatrics, children, teens, people with trauma and those with disabilities.
My personal journey has taught me the importance of learning to be my own emotional coach and staying persistent on my path despite what obstacles may be in my way. Throughout the years I have always had the support of my wonderful family and some of the most amazing friends. My family is truly my inspiration, I married my best friend and have three beautiful children. I know first-hand the challenges of being a parent along with having a blended family and with the difficulties of navigating through divorce. Some of the most difficult-times in my life have taught me the most. My belief is our journey helps to shape us, our sense of self helps determine us, and our dreams, goals along with faith help to guide us.
Florida License # SW11089
Lakeside Counseling is proud to contract with Kelly Bowles. Please ask about her availability when you call to schedule an appointment.