Meet Anita Carpenter

Anita Carpenter
Downers Grove Community High School South (IL)

How did you become a college counselor?

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology, I thought that was the road that was paved for me. However, as I tell students, I realized that I would have been miserable in that profession. So, I returned to college for a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling, while teaching science for 10 years. As time passed, I found that I enjoyed counseling students more about their post-secondary planning and possible career choices.  To this day, aiding students in fulfilling their dream of attending college is one of my biggest joys as a school counselor!

You are member of NACAC’s Current Trends & Future Issues Committee. How did you decide to get involved with NACAC in this way?

My experiences on the Executive Board for Illinois ACAC helped to solidify my desire to continue to work for our professional organization.  CTFI was and is another way to work collaboratively with others throughout the United States regarding trends in counseling, college admission and enrollment management.

Do you have any advice for professionals who are new to the field?

The best advice I have is what my Associate Principal shared with me 22 years ago. “You won’t be truly comfortable as a counselor until your fourth year.”  Get to know your support staff and other team members, so that you can bounce thoughts off them, and join a professional organization like NACAC or your state affiliate. There is an abundance of resources that can be helpful during your first few years as a new counselor.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing counselors today?

There is never enough time. This is the biggest challenge that is facing counselors today. I’d like to think that I am a pretty good multi-tasker, however, there are days that I may need to change my day around based on the needs of a student. But I enjoy the unpredictability of the day.  Each day is always different from the next!

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?

I thoroughly enjoy attending Chicago Bulls Basketball games and listening to outdoor concerts in the summer. Chicago is a world-class city and there is always something to do!

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?

Sherlock Holmes. He had so many innate talents. He always had more than one way to approach a problem. Sometimes he would have to put on a disguise or come up with different ideas if something did not work -- no matter how outlandish they were. Plus, I liked his deerstalkers (caps)!

What five words best describe you?

Loving, Conscientious, Forthright, Compassionate and Outgoing

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My mantra: Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!

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