Julio C. Murcia
Executive Director of Student Services and College Counseling
Crespi Carmelite High School (CA)
What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
My story, in my opinion, is unique. I am both a special needs and English Language learner. I remember clearly, back in my sophomore year, my counselor shared with another counselor that because I was in an English Shelter class there was therefore no need to worry about college planning. I remember being angry and confused, thinking: “Why not me?” I graduated 80th out of 800+ students and my only path was the community college. It was the best thing that happened to me, but I still wonder what could have happened if I had the right guidance and support. I have been committed since my days at the community college to support and give students the options and choices that were not granted to me.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Exposing students to a college that they have not previously thought about so the student can add it to his/her college list.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has allowed me to be part of discussions that I do not think I would otherwise have been a part of. I feel that NACAC allows my voice to be heard and to have an impact in the larger picture. Also, NACAC has allowed me to introduce other counselors to all the great resources and options available. NACAC also has allowed me to travel and visit colleges in the city where the annual conference is being held.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
Even after 27 years of being in education, at least in the West Coast, there is still a lack of information about all the great choices and resources available to students.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Over the last four years I have started to train as much as possible to do marathons. So, any time I can go on a walk or run, I am a happy counselor.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would like to be Mork from the Mork & Mindy show. I am a huge fan of Robin Williams to start with, I love being funny and silly. I really like the fact that Mork can travel in time and in a funny way he has superpowers like a superhero. Finally, I relate to Mork because he is a very knowledgeable person about a lot of different topics; I am sure about colleges and what they have to offer, too.