Discover Your Island

Haley Haaker

An Outstanding Islander

Photo of Haley Haaker

Lending a Helping Hand

Graduate student Haley Haaker has dedicated her time to making a difference in the lives of others through her volunteerism. From her numerous honors to her widespread community service, she has never settled for anything less than the extraordinary.

“Working with individuals with special needs in volunteer settings has helped me to see that this is a passion that I would like to purse in my career,” said Haaker. “I hope that I can help students strive to overcome their difficulties and feel confident about their strengths so that they can be the successful people they wish to become.”

Haaker, who graduated Cum Laude from the Island University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art, plans to specialize in working with students with developmental disabilities. She is currently enrolled in her second semester within the University’s Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology Master's Program and is pursuing the School Counseling track. In addition, Haaker is earning her Alternative Teaching Certificate in Special Education.

Haaker has offered her time in extensive volunteer work. She has tutored children at Robert Wilson Elementary School, worked with disabled kids as a surf instructor at the Surfrider Foundation surf camp, and served as a basketball coach for the Special Olympics. In addition, Haaker has volunteered for the Mary Grett Special Emphasis School Field Day, the Autism Spectrum Resource Center Autism Walk, and the South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind Beeping "Eggstavaganza" event, where blind and visually impaired children had the opportunity to hunt for specially-designed "beeping" Easter eggs.

“By being patient and compassionate, I hope to can make a positive impact on the lives of special needs children,” said Haaker. “I aim to help to equip them with tools for success early in life.”

In addition to Haaker’s volunteerism, she has shined academically. She was accepted into the   Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society in Counseling, and Golden Key International Honor Society. In May 2014, Haaker received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for her involvement with the Counselor Education Research Consortium.