What I Know Now: Kristin Byrd


career: forensic interviewer and therapist

age: 41

hometown: Walhalla, SC

career: Currently, my job is two-fold. As a forensic interviewer, I am trained to interview children about alleged abuse. The children I talk to could be victims of child abuse or witnesses to the abuse of others. As a counselor, I provide therapy to children who have experienced or witnessed some sort of abuse or crime. I work at the Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center. Our job is to assist Law Enforcement and the Department of Human Resources where there are allegations of child abuse. The best thing about my job is that I get to offer solace to the families involved. In the future, I hope to use my experience to train other interviewers and counselors. Along with training, I would love to consult for other agencies, helping them learn the best practices for working with children and families.

education: I attended Huntingdon College where I got my B.A. in Human Performance and Kinesiology. I intended to go to Physical Therapy school, but instead, I attended Oral Roberts University, receiving a Master of Divinity, and Troy University, receiving a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology. College was a huge time of growth for me. I worked a full-time job much of my time there, but I was able to make lifelong friends that I still have.

growing up: My response in elementary school to what I wanted to be when I grow up was a lawyer. I have no idea why I said that! As I got older, I wanted to be in the medical field.

major influences: God has contributed more to my success than anyone or anything. He has more than blessed my life and continues to carry me even when my “crazy” tries to get in the way. My parents, Charles and Emma Byrd, taught me to love Jesus, treat people the way I want to be treated, and to be independent. My grandparents, Henry and Ethel, were HUGE influences in my life. My Papa always told me that I would not be successful without an education. He did not care where I went to college, as long as I went, and Grandma always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do.

advice for others: I encourage teens to seek out those who you want to emulate in life. Do you want to be a doctor? Find a doctor that will mentor you. Do you want to be a counselor? Find someone that will mentor you. Surround yourself with what you want in life, not what makes you comfortable. I encourage parents to nurture your child’s curiosity. Expose them to as much outside of themselves as possible. Lovingly support your kids, even when you think they are making the craziest decisions. Talk to your children and develop solid relationships with them. Know their friends. Know their interests. Have a consistent presence in their lives.

best advice: Live your life!

worst advice: Charge it and pay later.

My Top 5 Favorites:

1. Blue Bell ice cream

2. El Rey Restaurant

3. My plant babies

4. Warm clothes out of the dryer

5. Red velvet cake


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