Meet Candice Mackey

Candice MackeyCandice Mackey
College Counselor
Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (CA)
Co-Leader of the Public School Counselor SIG

What drew you to the world of college counseling?
The opportunity to serve, give back, and pay it forward to and for others led me to this work. Diversity is a real value of mine. Ensuring equity and access for opportunity, knowledge, and advancement for marginalized groups and those from underserved and under-resourced communities has always been at the core of my calling as an educator. It’s my profession, passion, and purpose. I just completed my 13th year as a school counselor and there’s still never a dull moment in my daily practice. 

What is your favorite part of the job?
There are several. Building relationships and working closely with students in supporting their aspirations, connecting to their calling, and allowing them to see opportunities where others, including themselves, may see limitations—this is the work I love. I enjoy working with adolescents, particularly in this developmental stage with the bliss and pains that are distinct to this phase of life. Learning and listening to the voices and stories of young people and students keeps me youthful; but more importantly, inspired, hopeful, and purpose-driven serving others.

How did you get involved with the Public School Counselor SIG?
As an existing member of the SIG, when the opportunity became available to co-lead the Public School SIG I was sold on the idea to pursue this opportunity. I was eager to get more involved in NACAC and equally excited to take on a co-lead role in the Public School Counselor SIG. We are key stakeholders in our membership and vital vessels in this profession.

Why is this SIG important to you?
There’s pride being a public school counselor. Our voices may not be the loudest or always heard, but our work is impactful and substantial. An investment in public schools is an investment in students, our economy, and the generations behind us and those to come. Public school represents me/we/you and I. It’s inclusive. It’s Community. It’s Everyone.

Why should counselors and admission professionals get involved with a NACAC SIG?
You cannot do this work alone. We create opportunities for students and that takes a village, a circle, a network, a mentor, and simply collaboration among one another. From counselors to admission offices, to CBOs and IECs, having and maintaining working relationships are uncompromisable. They are necessary and effective. With NACAC offering more than 30 SIGs, getting involved in these micro-communities can serve as one of several supportive and resourceful professional circles to align yourself with.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The demands to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of today's studentsand society, contribute to the greatest challenges that our profession faces today. No one said this work was easy!

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I absolutely love my ‘ME’ time and recognize now more than ever, the importance of work-life-boundaries. Reading, writing, traveling, and relaxing are my go-to’s. Connecting and communing with close friends and colleagues are a MUST. Spending time with my husband and two young sons, James Champion and Langston Noble, are eventful and priceless! 

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
This seriously was such a challenging question for me to answer, as I sadly could not think of one fictional character to commit to. Instead, I thought to myself, what if I was able to fictionalize myself by adding superpowers to my existence. Oh, what fun that would that be!

Five words to describe yourself?
Creative. Humorous. Humane. Resourceful. Spiritual. 

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