|"Destination Equity: Charting Bright Futures for All Students," provided a national perspective on the impact of school counselors in preparing all students for postsecondary success. During the conference, three individuals—Shelby T. Wyatt, James L. MacGregor and Congresswoman Linda Sánchez—were recognized as winners of a National Advocacy Award for their outstanding contributions to the
The National Advocacy Award for Family and
Shelby T. Wyatt, high school counselor and founder of the Kenwood Brotherhood Program, was awarded the National Advocacy Award for Family and Community Empowerment for his groundbreaking work with African American male students in Chicago, Ill. Since 2003, Wyatt has administered this program to prepare males of Kenwood Academy to become leaders for themselves, their families, their communities and their school. To encourage academic and personal growth, Wyatt’s program requires members of the Kenwood Brotherhood to excel in their classes, attend field trips and remain free of disciplinary referrals. By involving students in open forums, tutoring and academic assistance, college visits, sports, computer exploration, public speaking and opportunities for creative expression, the Kenwood Brotherhood Program fosters academic excellence, personal growth and a sense of responsibility among the community.
The National Advocacy Award for Creating a College-Going Culture K-12
James L. MacGregor, school counselor at Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Fla., was awarded the National Advocacy Award for Creating a College-Going Culture K-12. Gateway High School serves more than 2,600 students, 60 percent of whom are Hispanic and 57 percent are economically disadvantaged.
At Gateway, MacGregor collects school data in order to
illustrate need and implement change. Five hundred students
call MacGregor their counselor, but his work reaches far
beyond this number. Over the past five years, the school’s
AP® exam-takers have increased from 69 to 342. By connecting 74 students with teachers, counselors or deans as mentors and by implementing a positive behavior program, behavior incidents have decreased by more than 50 percent. Since beginning his work at Gateway High School, the number of 9th-grade students enrolled in pre-AP courses doubled, 11th-grade students taking the PSAT/NMSQT® increased from 60 to 160 and the total number of PSAT/NMSQT test-takers doubled from 300 to 600. In addition to providing academic guidance to each of these students, MacGregor’s data collection has enabled a shift in attitude at Gateway High School, encouraging schoolwide change and fostering a college-going culture.
The National Advocacy Award for Leadership in
Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, dedicated advocate for school counselors and representative of the 39th District of California, was awarded the National Advocacy Award for Leadership in Policy Change. In 2007, Sánchez introduced the “Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act” to increase graduation rates by placing counselors in Title I schools. As the first Latina to serve on the Judiciary Committee, Sánchez is able to directly influence and impact judicial change. She is a member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, a position that enables her to continually impact public schools. A strong advocate for working families in California, Ms. Sánchez is committed to making schools safe and providing quality education.