Celebrating Our Counselors: National School Counseling Week

A+picture+of+Segerstrom%27s+Virtual+Counseling+Center.+Photo+courtesy+of%3A+Segerstrom+High+School

A picture of Segerstrom’s Virtual Counseling Center. Photo courtesy of: Segerstrom High School

This first week of February marks National School Counseling Week, where schools across the United States celebrate their counselors’ efforts, hard work, and dedication. At Segerstrom High School, the counseling team includes five wonderful individuals:  Frankie Gonzalez, Gabrielle Griset, Leslie Castillo, Monica Mejia, and Maria Lara. We also cannot forget to mention the staff of the Higher Education Center: Adriana Huezo, the main coordinator, along with Noemmi Gonzalez and Sabrina Olea. 

In the wake of the pandemic, the abrupt transfer to distance learning, the shifting of all counseling resources and programs online, and much more, the Counseling department at Segerstrom has risen up to meet the challenge. Some of our editorial board members wanted to acknowledge their efforts during this week of recognition.

Ms. Huezo has been one of the most helpful people while I was applying to colleges. She held meetings after school in order to help us one on one. I am very grateful for her. She helped me with decisions and even helped me mail my FAFSA. Overall, I don’t think I would have gotten much done college wise without her and her support,” says Yadira Zenteno, a senior. 

Ms. Huezo specifically assists students who hope to attend college. She regularly provides information and assistance about colleges, majors, financial aid, the SAT and ACT, scholarships, and summer programs. She is also the person responsible for organizing the various seminars and Zoom meetings with college representatives from community colleges, the UCs, the Cal states, and private universities. Especially for seniors, Ms. Huezo is an invaluable resource when it comes to applying for college. 

“My senior year of high school was the first time I decided to reach out to a counselor. I was always scared to reach out for help and advocate for myself. This last year I struggled with many things including motivation, mental health, and many more personal things. I reached out to Mrs. Mejia who was a huge help in getting me mental health resources and even let me drop a class that was stressing me out too much,” Alexa Perez, a senior, says. “Without her, I don’t know how I would have dealt with all the stress.” 

Mrs. Griset and the other counselors have put together a Virtual Counseling Center. Here, there is all sorts of information about incoming events, flyers about opportunities like CTE classes, and mental health, family, and community resources. Students like Perez can reach out to their counselors and other mental health specialists via this website. The website also provides information concerning last week’s Junior Conference, a virtual meeting that included a panel of college representatives, information about how to apply for financial aid, and much more.

“The Junior Conference was absolutely a wonderful experience. I am so grateful to the counselors for putting it together because I learned so much. It ran very smoothly with almost no technological difficulties, so I feel like it was just as good as if it was to be in person,” one junior says. 

As students here at Segerstrom, we should be so grateful to have such diligent, hardworking, and caring counselors. Reach out to your counselor, and send them a thank you message or drop into their Daily Lunch Zoom room to say hello.