The Blog

Conversation-starter with Jaime Alvis, school counselor

When I started my time at, I was working in the traffic safety department and was torn as to how I wanted to continue my career. All I knew was that I wanted to follow the motto: Do what you love, love what you do. From a young age, all I wanted to do was help others, and I loved the idea of making a tangible impact on my community and world.

A year after transferring departments at to become the Director of Educational Programs, my real journey began. I enrolled in The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development’s school counseling program and haven’t looked back. My time at working on their educational programs was a pivotal point in my career since it helped shape the benchmark I still have today for quality resources within the education community.

Counselors are crucial cogs in every school’s wheel. I like to think that every day I have the important role of making a student surer of a tough decision, or attempting to turn them away from a decision that could hurt their future, like underage drinking. No longer are we just schedule-makers or orientation-night givers; traditionally the role has been defined as “guidance” counselor. Trained in emotional management, hormone balancing, and decision-making jiu-jitsu, school counselors improve the lives of every student by helping them access every resource. Or at least that’s the goal we strive for every single day.

Today, as I walk through the halls of Mount Vernon High School, where I’m currently in my first year as a professional school counselor, I think about what has shaped my path. I think about the days I spent creating resources for educators, to the first time I picked up a resource for myself – to help a student who really needed it. creates free, quality resources for counselors like me because they know just how important the role we play is. Being armed with facts is the most helpful asset to counselors – and that’s what organizations like provide.

It’s National School Counseling Week and I’m celebrating with Ask, Listen, Learn and their partner, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), by talking about how it #StartsWithMe to help students make smart decisions, especially when it comes to risky behaviors like drinking underage. I’m here to help them navigate that decision. And I know that is here to help me with free, quality, and age-appropriate resources.

I’ve started this important conversation – join ASCa’s photo challenge to show your appreciation and passion for school counseling this week, and let us know what you’re doing to promote responsibility during #NSCW17 and throughout the year!