It’s obvious why my guidance counselor was of invaluable assistance. He was doing his job. But my insurance agent?
Upon receiving a state-minimum policy for the 12-year-old coupe I bought at the age of 16, my insurance agent gave me a book full of information about finding and applying to the right college. I think U.S. News and World Report published it, but after more than a decade my memory could be failing me.
The agent probably gave one of these books to all of his teenage clients. I doubt many of them devoured its advice the way I did. My parents were U.S. Army veterans who didn’t go to college, so I couldn’t go to them with questions about campus tours and financial aid.
I navigated through the college admissions process essentially on my own, with the help of that book and countless appointments with my guidance counselor.
When I arrived at American University I jumped into a major in journalism, which had been my dream since deciding at the age of 12 that my destiny was to anchor “NBC Nightly News.”
But after finishing my degree a semester early, interning at two Pennsylvania newspapers, working as a reporter for four years at a daily newspaper in Reading, Pa., and writing for dozens of print and online publications as a freelance journalist, it became clear that my path lay somewhere else.
Turns out, I was really meant to help other students like the younger version of myself – ambitious, sure they want to pursue a post-secondary degree but with little idea of how.
The signs were there all along. For a brief period in elementary school my goal was to be a college president. (Now that I know what a college president actually does, I’m not interested in the position.) When the reporter who covered higher education at the Reading newspaper left for another job, I asked to take his place. Since then I have worked in admissions at a community college and completed school counseling internships in elementary and high school settings.
I recently earned a Master of Education degree in School Counseling from West Chester University and look forward to dedicating my career to helping students figure out what to do next. I also plan to fill my newfound free time with freelance writing assignments.