James Lee: Helping Others in Time of Need
During his undergraduate college journey, James Lee, M.A. ’23, found himself floating between a few career paths, trying to figure out what field he wanted to pursue. He knew that he had a passion and gift for helping others, but he wasn’t sure how to channel it. It was during this time of soul searching that he had a breakthrough moment that provided him with clarity and placed him on his current trajectory.

On a seemingly ordinary day, Lee witnessed the aftermath of a serious car accident, observing multiple children stranded on the side of the road. “Seeing those kids broke my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about how they would view the situation—what kinds of fear, pain, and trauma would come as a result.” From this event, Lee felt a new calling to use his gifts to help people navigate trauma, choosing to pursue a career in clinical psychology, with the objective of becoming a licensed therapist.

Lee decided to pursue an M.A. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Azusa Pacific University. Throughout the program, attending classes at the Orange County Regional Campus, he has experienced incredible growth in his studies, noting, “APU’s classes are practical and help me move forward in my career and personal development. Through this program, I am building the confidence and skills to succeed in helping others.”

In addition to academic progress, Lee has benefitted from developing close relationships with others in his scholarly community.

“The APU community is like a supportive and loving family. My professors and peers always support me beyond my studies—they authentically care about and want the best for me. Everyone is on separate journeys, but we stay closely connected and keep each other accountable.”

After graduation, Lee has his sights set on becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist. Through his faith in Christ, he feels a deep calling to give back to his community, helping others grow and heal through his career. “During all of the ups and downs, God is constantly working, and it gives me strength knowing that God provides and keeps his promises. More than anything, I want to help others know that truth.”