School Counselors: Hope Dealers!

At the CASC Conference, Jeff Duncan-Andrade reminded us to be the light that shines hope for our students. 
“The purpose of education is not to escape poverty, but to end it.” – Jeff Duncan-Andrade
During the 2018 CASC Conference in Riverside, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., one of our keynote speakers, reminded us to be the light that shines hope for our students. His powerful speech reminded me that, in these times of negativity, we are the people in our schools and in our communities who bring the optimism that instills hope when others may have lost or forgotten it. School counselors are faced with playing a variety of roles.

We often are not just the educator but play a vital role in advocating for our youth and for our profession. School counselors have a perspective that deals with the whole child; that includes home and school life.
Our children come to school with a variety of skills, but we know as school counselors that if we give each and every child the opportunity and support, they can and will be ready to learn. It is often left up to us to make sure that the right support and resources are provided. We become the disrupters of hopelessness.
As school counselors, we are not here to give advice but to provide opportunities for our students. We are here to make sure our students have their basic needs met so that they can thrive in school. School counselors often are the people who see that our students are full of tenacity and resilience. We look for avenues to partner and collaborate with educators, community members, parents and anyone who can be a resource for our students. As school counselors, we focus on academics, career and social/emotional development, and we never forget to focus on compassion and love to enhance the whole child. We do this each and every day – even though we ourselves may be tired and exhausted, we remember why we are here. School counselors, you are the hope that maybe overlooked, but you are not forgotten.
Remember to be a hope dealer because there is a child out there who is looking for someone who believes in them, and that person is you! Join your fellow school counselors in this quest to be a hope dealer for every child. Thank you for your continued efforts and never stop believing that if you change the life of one child you can change the world!
José Cardenas, Ed.D. (CASC Central California Representative), has been a school counselor in Stockton Unified for 12 years. He is involved in the doctoral program and teaches in the school counseling program at CSU Stanislaus. With CASC, he worked on the 2017 Northern California Conference Committee and is on the committee for the 2019 Northern California Conference, taking place February 4-5, 2019, in Sacramento. Cardenas is also part of the CASC Policy, Advocacy, and Legislation Coordinating Council. He believes it takes a collective commitment to foster a nurturing and conducive learning environment for all students and that school counselors play a vital role in being proactive and positive leaders in their communities.

Scenes from the CASC 2018 Conference
The CASC 2018 Conference was held in November in Riverside, Calif. This event brought together school counselors, counselor educators, school administrators and other educators from across California. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., is from Oakland, Calif. and offered his inspiring keynote remarks to an audience of more than 1,300. Join CASC on Facebook to access more pictures and local professional development events and socials. Learn about upcoming events on the CASC website. CASC anticipates more than 500 attendees at our Northern California Conference in Sacramento, February 4-5, 2019. Registration is now open. Save the date for the CASC 2019 state conference in Riverside on October 3-4, 2019.

Cristina Leavitt of the California Army National Guard shakes hands with Senator Barbara Boxer.

Tony Thurmond gives his keynote address.

Loretta Whitson, CASC executive director, speaks to the crowd.

Attendees fill the hallways at the CASC 2018 Conference.