Director of College Counseling
St. John's College High School (DC)
What drew you to the world of college counseling?
As a first-generation college student, I found the college process and experience as a whole such a transformative one. In addition to all the nuances that come along with the first time being on a college campus, my family is also from Peru and I was culturally exposed to so much during my college years. I found myself experiencing different people, professors that spoke freely, all types of food I had never had, and an independence that I had never known. Because of all of this, I believe the higher education experience is an opportunity that every student should be afforded equally.
I was drawn into college counseling after working in college admission for over 10 years. That experience left me wanting more direct interaction with students and families. I realized that for me, the fruit of my labor really lied in helping bring light to the process, so students have every opportunity they have earned.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The students and the work of getting to know each one of them and watching them launch into the next part of their journey. The outcomes aren’t always what you expect, but the thankful students and families are always abundant.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has provided me endless opportunities to understand the importance of my various roles and has positioned me to be the best resource and support system for my students and families. NACAC also provides me an opportunity to meet a number of professionals that have become my mentors and lifelong friends.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
Equity within the process on many levels be it admission, affordability, or access to information. As colleges become more selective/competitive for our students and the cost of attendance increases, it becomes more difficult to properly position and guide students across the board. Being able to reach all of our populations and types of students has become an increasingly difficult process that is almost like a science.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I enjoy sports and music so whenever I am not working you can probably catch me at Washington Nationals, Capitals, or Redskins game. Or you can catch me on the softball field playing on a recreational league or biking around the city. I also coach JV lacrosse for St. John’s so you can find me there too.
If you can’t find me at any of the above, check your local dive or concert hall because I really enjoy music, concerts, and dancing.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Dottie Hinson from the movie A League of Their Own, a film about the first All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Dottie, the pitcher and leader of the team, shows courage, strength, loyalty and compassion throughout the movie. She never waivers with the difference between what is right and wrong. She also does not want to be in the limelight and always considers her teammates. Her relationship with her sister, Kit, and the sacrifice she makes to see her happy is a reflection of how she values her relationships and family. Overall, the movie celebrates women and their ability to be resilient even when faced with the toughest of times.
Describe yourself in five words.
Caring, patient, motivated, understanding, and down-to-earth.
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