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Meet Yetunde Rubinstein

Yetunde Rubinstein
Associate Director of College Counseling
Brentwood School (CA)

How did you become the associate director of college counseling at the Brentwood School?
I was introduced to Brentwood School during Decemberfest 2008. But, I didn’t consider relocating until the polar vortex of 2014 forced me to consider a warmer climate. The more I learned about the Los Angeles area independent schools and Brentwood School specifically, I knew it was a place I wanted to be. I was fortunate to join a dynamic team and it has been a great opportunity to continue to expand my knowledge of the educational landscape in America.

What made you decide to get into this field?
My entrance into the world of college admission was quite accidental, but has turned into a wonderfully fulfilling experience. During my college years, I worked in the admission office, surrounded by many professionals who are still active today. This made enough of an impression on me so that after graduation, when I deferred my graduate program, I immediately looked to opportunities in college admission. I was excited to be able to change the trajectory of students who may not have considered college. I understood then how important it was to mirror a reality that many students may never have imagined for themselves. Working in the Bronx (NY), and partnering with local public schools, and CBOs continues to be a highlight of my career. After five great years in the Fordham University undergraduate admissions office with an incredible team of professionals, I discovered that I was better suited to the secondary school setting where I have an opportunity to work closely with students as they uncover who they are---their best and worst selves--- and work to shape a world of meaning.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Working with students! Whether kids in my caseloads or through various organizations I am involved with, the optimism, resilience, and promise of young people is rejuvenating. Our world can be tough, but it is often harder for kids, who somehow show up every day, ready to go to task with circumstances that would cripple some adults. Most have not been hardened and jaded despite the harsh realities they may face, so I am able to ride their optimism and partner with them from a hopeful space.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has been an integral part of my professional career, beginning with my involvement with my first regional affiliate, NYSACAC. Many of the incredible professionals who served as mentors at “Rookie Camp” have generously mentored me through many transitions and encouraged my growth. NACAC’s national conference has ensured my depth of knowledge and experience, while keeping me informed on the implications and intersection of the national dialogue around education. I am a drastically better professional due to the many resources available through the NACAC network. I cannot do my work without NACAC.     

You’ve been a supporter of the Imagine Fund. Why do you choose to give to NACAC?
NACAC has given so much to me, professionally and therefore personally, and I strongly believe in paying it forward. I have been fortunate to work for institutions who have financed my attendance and participation at NACAC and regional affiliate meetings and I am always painfully aware of the voices that are missing from those spaces. The voices and perspectives of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and public school counselors are desperately needed, especially in conversations around policy, as they are most often negatively affected. My donation adds, in its small way, to a larger pool of resources to help make attendance and participation possible. Our profession is strong because of the cooperative nature -- we cannot thrive without each other.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
My life is consumed by parenthood at this time, which is amazing! I am fortunate to currently reside in an environment that allows me to be outdoors year-round. Hiking is my meditation, but gardening and connecting to the earth also allow me to feel rejuvenated. I also love to run, and just discovered the Tough Mudder race.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I don’t want to exist in fiction, only in living color!

Describe yourself in five words.
Focused, energetic, loyal, proud, mama.

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