In a recent Facebook post, Yvette Guzman, Director of College Counseling at IDEA Weslaco Pike College Preparatory, displayed what it truly means to support IDEA Public Schools scholars to and through college. She posted a heartfelt collage of the IDEA alumni who she once advised, who have since graduated from college and titled it #GuzmanGrads.
Her inspiration for the post happened when Yvette was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night.
“I have ideas that pop in my head all the time,” said Yvette. “This time, I woke up with this idea to look at all of the graduation photos from my former students to see just how far they’ve come.”
Yvette has served as a Director of College Counseling at IDEA Public Schools for more than nine years. She started her career at IDEA Quest College Preparatory and three years ago, transferred to IDEA Weslaco Pike College Preparatory.
During her nine years at IDEA, she’s had the opportunity to witness hundreds of College Preparatory seniors receive acceptance letters to colleges and universities, including students who were accepted to and have since graduated from Ivy League schools: Princeton University, Brown University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Yvette says she loves her job because she knows she can have a lasting impact on students’ lives. “I want someone to say, ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up,’” she said. “Seeing these scholars graduate from IDEA and four years later, send me invitations to their college graduation ceremonies makes it all worth it.”
The distinct strategies that IDEA’s College Counselors like Yvette utilize have resulted in a 100% college acceptance rate for all IDEA scholars for the last 13 years. “One thing that makes college counseling unique at IDEA is that we have the opportunity to work individually with each student and spend quality time with them when helping them make college choices because we have such a small student-to-counselor ratio,” she said. “The college counselors at larger schools with hundreds of seniors just don’t have the time.”
Due to the quality time that Yvette has with her scholars and the strong bonds she’s produced, she often keeps in touch with alumni long after they’ve graduated from IDEA. “I don’t want to lose touch with them because I have a special bond with each of them,” she says. “I’ve even helped some of them move into their college dorm rooms!”
Yvette says she plans to hang the #GuzmanGrads collage in her office not only to inspire her, but also to inspire the scholars she’s currently counseling—the Class of 2021—who are all future #GuzmanGrads.