Ms. Valerio is "Planting the Seeds" of Success in PSL, Global Citizens
By Dasraj Seecharran and Jonathan Perez, Junior Writers
Ms. Valerio is the Public Service and Law Guidance Counselor who provides her kids with guidance and care to get through school problems and leads them towards a great life in the future.
Ms. Valerio is also the Guidance Counselor to the Spanish bilingual students in the Newcomers Institute. Technically, she says, "I have an institute and a half." Ms.Valerio has great experience with her students in both SLC’s and has a great background story to share.
“Both the Directors of Public Service and Law and I care very much for them,” said Ms. Valerio. “I've had students overcome extreme circumstances and achieve success.” One out of the millions of great stories she had was when one of her former graduates received The Gates Millennium Scholarship who went on to work with Zynga and helped develop the app Draw Something.
She emphasizes the great achievements of her students by saying that she had students “overcome severe circumstances just to get into the country and be afforded the opportunities all Americans are lucky to have.” Specifically speaking about one student, she explains that she had one who came “in illiterate in his native language and managed to learn English, graduate in four years, complete an electrical course and is on his way to college.”
Before becoming a Guidance Counselor, she was counseling in her old high school for RBSCC, Inc., a Community Based Organization in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Then, she ran a Beacon Program in a middle school for the same CBO for a few years. Her experience working with RBSCC, Inc., she says, “remains priceless. I've tapped into it throughout all my years working for the NYC DOE."
She was also a Guidance Counselor at Long Island City High School. There, she has worked with some of our current staff like Ms. Dejean, Counselor of Media, Arts and Music, Ms. Mangianello, Counselor of Theatre, and Mr. Michalos, Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services.
The transition from her former job to becoming a Guidance Counselor was “pretty smooth” according to her. She had been counseling for five years prior to becoming a Beacon Program Director. In this case, she has a lot of experience with guiding kids onto better things. The Beacon program services were provided to youth ages 5-21. Ms. Valerio believes that this is what inspired her to work in schools. "I felt like I was providing more direct services, as opposed to my position as a Director, and I would be more effective to youth in need.”
She knows that she cannot be successful with every single one of her students. However, her goal is to try to be to the best of her abilities. She does her best to "treat the students with respect, speak to and guide them the way I would my own children in hopes of planting a seed that can be used when given or when needed." She believes she is doing “exactly what she should be doing."
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