Two people stand out among all the adults who helped launch me toward my goal of heading to college after high school. One is my guidance counselor. The other is my car insurance agent.

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 my memory could be failing me after more than two decades.

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 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.

Now I am a high school counselor at a Catholic school in Delaware. My role allows me to focus on helping students reach their college and career goals. I accept freelance writing assignments on a limited basis.