Peggy Gasior’s Story | From Peru’s Rainforest to Miami’s Urban Jungle

March 17, 2022
Peggy holding a sloth in the Amazon Jungle
How do you go from holding a sloth in the Amazon jungle to pursuing a degree in mental health counseling? Peggy Gasior says no matter where she happens to be, there’s been one consistent theme in her life: “People have always come to me with their problems.”

People have always come to me with their problems.

Peggy started out in pre-med, thinking she wanted to be a doctor. After graduation, she decided to pursue an MBA in healthcare management. “But all my professors said, ‘Don’t go into healthcare right now.’ So I started working for my church, and I found that people naturally gravitated to me to talk about their problems. They often told me, ‘You should consider counseling.’” While Gasior believed she could enjoy a career in counseling, her life got busy, and her plan to go to graduate school was put on hold. “For 20 years my husband teased me, ‘You either need to go or stop dreaming about it!’” So Peggy applied to TIU-Florida and was accepted. No sooner, however, did an incredible medical mission, working in the Amazon jungle of Peru, reach out to her to be their mission director. “God made it very clear I was to take that position.”

After six years and many jungle trips, I finally came back.

“TIU-Florida kindly and graciously said, ‘When you’re ready to come back, we’ll take you.’ So after six years and many jungle trips, I finally came back to Trinity Florida and started my master’s degree program in the fall of 2019.”Peggy and her husband Jim Costa Rica As a current student in the MA in Mental Health Counseling program, Peggy is completing an internship at Wellspring Counseling before graduating this May. “It’s amazing that I only have a couple of months left!”

Having smaller classes gave us time to really dig into things.

One of the things that drew Peggy to TIU-Florida, rather than to an online program or secular college, was the classroom environment. “I really enjoyed having time with the professors and getting to know my classmates. Having smaller classes gave us time to really dig into things.” Peggy and Granada WomenPeggy says the integration of faith and learning has been a consistent thread through every class. Peggy learned how to help people as a Christian counselor, without overstepping the line as a professional. Peggy says, “Trinity prepared us well for that. It’s not a matter of imposing my beliefs on someone. For me personally, there’s also a lot of prayer behind the scenes that goes into working with clients.” One thing that Peggy has appreciated most at TIU-Florida is the strong supportive community. “I’ve felt like if I needed anything, I knew who to go to. I’ve loved all of my professors.” Peggy serves full-time at her church in women’s ministry and discipleship. And she has now been named the graduate valedictorian for the class of 2022!

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BA in Psychology

MA in Mental Health Counseling