Garza’s guidance

Juliana Gary, Writer

ayayayonlineLynne Diaz
As an AVID elective teacher at South Garland High School, new counselor Jacob Garza found himself surrounded by the topic of college and his students’ plans or lack of plans on a daily basis.

“I was helping out with a lot of the college process,” Garza said. “I was helping students figure out plans, what they wanted to do, where to go.”

According to Garza he was a constant influence and through that influence he discovered that he could choose to encompass a larger group of students. He looked into some programs for counseling and began working on his certification.

“I realized that [being a school counselor] is what I wanted to do next,” Garza said. “I’m actually going through Lamar University’s counseling program and I’ll be complete in like a week. I graduate in December.”

Since becoming a school counselor, Garza has been a friendly face for his section of the alphabet . He has had a wide variety of students look to him for advice since he started.

“Now that they’re used to me, some kids come in more often,” Garza said. “More kids are coming in to ask questions, to ask for help, and it’s so nice.”

Since senior conferences began recently, he’s been meeting more kids and putting faces to names. Senior conferences are appointments that the counselors make with each senior student to talk about their plans for the future, whether they are wanting to go to college or join the military, if they have applied for scholarships, are taking or have taken their college entrance exams, what credits they need, etc. These conferences give the counselors a one on one experience with their seniors and allow both parties to familiarize themselves with one another.

“Meeting the seniors is especially nice, to get to know their faces, since all I see are names,” Garza said. “It’s nice to kind of know who the seniors are. It’s been good to get to know the kids.”

At South Garland High School, Garza was involved in student council, Spanish National Honor Society, and Hispanic Youth Organization. In addition he was highly involved in a wild card club: folklorico dance.

“I also sponsored folklorico dancing,” Garza said. “I can dance. I was a folklorico dancer in high school and I actually competed a few times at Austin College and at one of the high schools.”

According to Garza and his experiences as a teacher, students from different high schools are not so different themselves and share similar aspirations.

“I think that the students are pretty much the same with any high school you go to,” Garza said. “Everyone has dreams and goals. My job is to try to give the student help with their dreams and goals, whatever that may be.”