Chris Lamar joined us in November of 2017 as a part-time mental health therapist and admissions support specialist and is now our school counselor and Life After Eagle Rock instructional specialist.
His primary responsibility here at Eagle Rock is to empower students to overcome their internal and external obstacles, as well as ensuring that they fulfill all requirements necessary to graduate and move toward whatever post-graduation opportunity they’re seeking. In addition, Chris works in admissions, interviewing incoming students to assess whether they’re a good fit for Eagle Rock. He says it’s also an opportunity to discover their personalities, their strengths and the ways in which they might need support.
We asked Chris to flesh out his school and job experience in an informal Q&A setting and here’s what he had to say:
Eagle Rock: What did you do for work before coming to work for Eagle Rock?
Chris Lamar: I’ve been working as a mental health therapist in private practice as well as an educational consultant, helping schools develop their internal capacity to respond to mental health crises. Before that I worked as an experiential educator for Where There Be Dragons. I was lucky enough to travel throughout Latin America to deliver courses focused on social justice, environmental issues, and different cultures. Before that I worked in international development — primarily in Nicaragua—where I helped farmers access different markets and improve product quality.
Eagle Rock: If you went to college, where did you go and what did you study?
Chris: I went to Villanova University in Pennsylvania for my undergraduate degree and Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., for my master’s degree. I studied Political Science and Spanish in undergrad, and Psychotherapy in my graduate program.
Eagle Rock: Where did you grow up and what did you want to be when you grew up?
Chris: We moved around a lot, including upstateNew York, the suburbs of Philadelphia, the border of Texas and Mexico. Mychildhood and adolescent years provided me with a rich experience of different cultures and schools. I always knew I wanted to help other people. I envisioned myself as a doctor or an activist.
Eagle Rock: Why did you choose to come to work for Eagle Rock?
Chris: I love working with students.I initially began seeing students as a therapist in a nearby health clinic. Their resilient spirit, their big heartedness, their intelligence— meeting with them was always the highlight of my day.
Eagle Rock: Please tell us about your hobbies or interests outside of work?
Chris: I enjoy getting outside and going for hikes with my family. Getting outside with the family or simply spending time with my daughter are some of my favorite moments of life. I also like fantasizing about the AI (artificial intelligence) takeover or how we’ll creatively respond to climate change.
Eagle Rock: What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Chris: I love to create. I throw pottery, illustrate cartoons, and used to work in film. Whether I’m bringing it into a therapy session or coming up with new programmatic solutions, creating is really important to me.
Eagle Rock: Are you married, and do you have children?
Chris: I am married and have a daughter, with another daughter on the way. My wife is a nurse who has the heart of a saint. She is always giving to others or our family. My daughter, Ali, has a wild and free spirit. She enjoys terrorizing our two dogs and drawing on the furniture.
Eagle Rock: What would you do in the event of a Zombie apocalypse?
Chris: In the event of a Zombie apocalypse, I would try to move my family to a peaceful, bucolic setting where we’d tend to the land and learn to live in community. Maybe we would settle into the remote foothills of the Andes, or find a secluded beach with lots of fish. I would use the event as an excuse to slow down and build community.
Eagle Rock: What super power do you have or would you like to have?
Chris: I would like to have the ability to fly. Taking a break to fly around our beautiful campus and take in the views would be quite refreshing.