Monday, February 6, 2017

Reflections on Celebrating ASCA's SCOY at the WHITE HOUSE with MICHELLE OBAMA!

Rebecca Lins is a school counselor at Peet Junior High in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

If someone would have told me 11 years ago, at the beginning of my school counseling career, that I would have the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. and represent Iowa as the School Counselor Of the Year national nominee, I would have said, “You’re dreaming!” Events from the last year and a half have been just that, a dream and an honor I could have never imagined for myself in this profession. A profession where you serve kids without a “thank you” or any recognition because we just care about kids and work behind the scenes to help them excel to their highest academic and social/emotional level.

It started in June of 2015 when I found out that my principal had nominated me for ISCA's Middle-Level School Counselor Of the Year (SCOY). I was surprised, humbled and excited by his nomination and worked all summer to finalize my extensive application to be considered for such an honor. In October, I was surprised by close colleagues that I had been awarded this honor by our state association. I felt so encouraged and spurred on by my fellow counselors as I received my award at the ISCA Conference in November.

In the Spring of 2016, the ISCA board chose me out of the four winners to be Iowa’s state representative in applying for ASCA’s SCOY 2017! When I received that email I think I froze and just re-read every word, asking myself, “Is this really happening?”

State SCOY reps on their way to the White House!
I was given the chance to update my application and re-submitted it in August 2016. Although I was not chosen as one of the five finalists, I was able to participate as Iowa’s state representative in ASCA’s SCOY events in Washington D.C. in January 2017. 

Michelle Obama’s final address as First Lady was recognizing our group of school counselors! I cannot express the feeling I had looking out over that room, standing just over Michelle’s shoulder, and seeing so many respond to the work of school counselors. Her work with #reacherhigher and #bettermakeroom catapulted the profession and authentic work of school counselors and I was deeply affected by seeing the room be moved by her call to action! Her support raised our efforts in advocating for our profession and she aligned with us in our genuine work to propel students to the next significant and successful level. I reflect on that experience as a once in a lifetime event I will never forget, one that truly was a dream. 

Becky is in the top row5th from the left. 

But my work continues, our work continues, and I close inspired with words spoken by Michelle Obama during her keynote at ASCA’s 2014 conference. She believes that we as school counselors,   “ we all have an impact that is truly beyond measure. Think about the extraordinary ripple effect of your work, because it’s real. Think about the impact you have, not just on every child that is transformed, but of the family that child will raise, on the business where that child will work, on the community that child will one day serve. How long after those kids graduate your work lives on in their hearts and minds and those they touch.”

Becky and ASCA Executive Director Richard Wong and ASCA Board Member

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