Degree: Master of Science in Counselor Education
College/School: School of Education and Human Development ; College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Isaac-Ike Zadikoff has been blessed with a loving support system from day one. Born premature with cerebral palsy and retinopathy of prematurity, Ike uses crutches to get around and has visual impairment that includes being legally blind in his left eye and very blind in his right. But Ike hasn’t let his disabilities stop him – and neither has his family. His father never let him feel sorry for himself while his mother instilled the importance of life balance. Even Ike’s siblings were up to the task of helping as new challenges presented themselves – from putting on new leg braces to daily tasks – until Ike mastered them himself.
While pursuing his undergraduate degree at FIU, Ike found that he was losing motivation. Living alone in student housing was an opportunity for independence but also came with challenges. Ike realized that he wasn’t happy and saw a counselor. Through that experience, Ike gained insight into his own life and was inspired to change his career path. He realized he wanted to help people by becoming a counselor himself.
Graduating with a dual track master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling was no easy task. Ike depended on the ongoing support of his teachers, friends and family, including his wife, Jenny, who helped him with his assignments and has stood by his side. Receiving his certification as a rehabilitation counselor upon graduation, Ike is also a member of Chi Sigma Delta Lota honor society and the American Rehabilitation Association.
By Jessica Drouet