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Meet Tahirah Crawford

Headshot of Tahirah CrawfordTahirah Crawford
Director of College Placement

People’s Preparatory Charter School (NJ)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
As the adage in our industry goes, I am one of those who entered this profession not knowing it would be a long-term career. After being grateful enough to receive some awesome mentorship from other “lifers” in the field, I was able to find my niche and have been passionate about serving students ever since. Specifically, what drew me to and has kept me in the field has been the challenge of our work and learning how our role assists students in stepping into their lives.

What is your favorite part of the job? 
My favorite part of my job is being able to get students into and graduated from college when so many people discount them or bet against their success. I am able to make incremental societal change by disrupting cycles of poverty and substandard education. This gives them the chance to change their life trajectory, which can bring about generational change.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has been THE greatest resource of knowledge and network for me in my career. From the professional development to the connections amongst colleagues, it is like no other professional association I have been a part of. Not only does the organization care about the students we service, it also cares that its members and practitioners have the best resources and tools at their disposal, thus enabling us to serve students while preserving and improving ourselves. The organization’s standards are high.

I also appreciate the humility and willingness NACAC has shown as a body to embrace redirection and change. It is not often that established entities will veer from the path paved. NACAC has proven time and time again it is willing to grow and evolve with the college counseling profession.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
Changing economics are proving to have a taxing impact on our profession. With the cost of college rising, many students and families are rethinking not just the idea of attending, but the types of institutions they will be attending. That can have a disparate impact on certain categories of colleges. In addition, colleges are experiencing their own economic pains of having to deliver classes that raise institutional profiles and offer a world-class competitive education, while still offering the necessary expanded resources students need to be successful in academics and beyond. All of this is compounded with us grappling with the long-term impacts of student debt. As the turbulence and unpredictability of our economy continues, I predict both sides of the desk will have new demands that require new approaches at a level of sophistication, compromise, and reprioritization that has been unseen before.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Can I say, “online shopping”? (lol)! My way of decompressing has always been cooking. It is the greatest stress reliever and allows me to be creative and adventurous without having to leave my home.

What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Improving. Curious. Passionate. Committed. Reliable.

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