SJUSD Receives Power of Hope Award

“The Power of Hope Award is built on the belief that the nation’s economic growth is dependent upon continuing to get more low income and predominantly minority students to and through college,” said Eric Waldo, Executive Director of Reach Higher and Chief Access and Equity Programs Officer at Common App. “We’re proud to partner with NPSI to recognize these six amazing school districts and the work their counselors are doing to change students’ lives.”

School Counselors in SJUSD have worked hard in creating a college and career-going culture, starting in elementary school. “When we heard about the criteria for the Power of Hope Award, we knew that our school counseling program had to apply,” said Dr. Vanessa Gomez, SJUSD Coordinator who oversees the school counseling program.  “Our district and school counseling program mission is focused on equity and ensuring that we help ALL students prepare for college and the careers they are interested in,” she noted.

Winners of the Power of Hope Award were announced at the National Postsecondary Strategy Institute (NPSI) National Conference, held virtually.  NPSI is advancing the work of the Reach Higher Initiative, since former First Lady Michelle Obama articulated the message of the power of hope in January 2017 at her last speech at the School Counselor of the Year Award Ceremony. 

“We are proud to recognize school districts that have moved school counselors from the periphery of leadership into a centralized role, engaging them as data informed leaders who are empowered with resources to help all students receive the support and experiences to reach for an educational credential beyond a high school diploma,” said Joyce Brown, founding partner of NPSI. 

The other five inaugural winners of the Power of Hope award include two from Riverside County; Alvord USD and Moreno Valley USD, as well as Grand Prairie Independent School District (Grand Prairie, TX), New York City Department of Education (New York, NY) and Westminster Public Schools (Westminster, CO).

For more information about the Power of Hope award and inaugural ceremony, see this video: