Director of College Counseling
YES Prep Public Schools – Northbrook (TX)
How did you become the director of college counseling at YES Prep Public Schools – Northbrook?
Honestly, by the grace of God! Technically, I was notified about this position and opening by a colleague I established a working relationship with through our active involvement within NACAC and our regional affiliate chapter. She was so impressed with my professionalism and work ethic toward the organization, that she personally referred me for this newly established campus with YES Prep, the first of its kind in the nation, where two charter organizations would partner with a local public school district in helping to redefine possible for some of their lowest performing campuses. The interview went well and I accepted the position. From being a regional admission counselor at Texas State University to a director of outreach for the University of Texas at Austin to fulfilling the role of college success manager with Houston ISD, I brought more than 10 years’ worth of experience to the position. All of those professional experiences, along with serving on both the NACAC Government Relations Committee and the Texas ACAC Executive Board contributed greatly to the skillsets I am able to provide the students, families, and community that I serve.
What keeps you in the admission profession?
The ever-growing learning curve in becoming a more proficient and passionate advocate of educational equity, access, and inclusion.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The students and the constant reminder of extending the grace that was bestowed upon me going through the same challenges as a high school student. Plus, attending the national and regional conferences!
How has NACAC helped you as an admission professional?
In so many ways! I have learned most of the skills and knowledge acquired within this profession through participating in the various professional development opportunities offered through the national and regional associations. I am forever indebted to all former and current supervisors I’ve had the privilege of working with. They valued the active involvement of their employees within professional organizations, such as NACAC.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing counselors today?
One of the greatest challenges facing counselors today is the inability to stay well-informed of various nuances within the college admission counseling community. Public secondary counselors work with most of the students applying and matriculating to NACAC member institutions, but have the lowest participation and representation within the organization, due to underfunded and understaffed counseling departments. I feel it necessary that NACAC and it leadership continue its advocacy and fundraising for opportunity grants like the Imagine Fund, which are so essential for the targeted members they were created for.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Catch up on the lack of sleep, hang out with my wife and kids, listen to live music, and catch up on my DVR shows.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
T’Challa, the Black Panther and King of Wakanda. Why, his name speaks for itself! #WakandaForever
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