KYACAC President

Jasmine Drinkard

KYACAC Membership,

When I decided to join the Presidential cycle of KYACAC, as a Public School Counselor, I never thought it would lead to such a pivotal point in history.  Today, with Covid19, we are faced with social distancing while still needing to connect with students.  We are navigating new working environments, inviting colleagues, students, and families into our homes virtually because we know the work MUST continue.  Covid19 shined a light on the inequities as it relates to access to education on both sides of secondary and post-secondary education.  Many of us adapted quickly causing our professional and personal lives to collide. 

I spent the bulk of last year planning, observing, and preparing for the Presidential role only to discover we have a new day ahead of us in our approach to College Access and Admissions.  With this comes the opportunity for us to lead with intentionality.  The theme of the 2020 conference was set to be Vision 2020 - Focus.  In a lot of ways, the year 2020 has done just that.  It brought to light issues we desperately need to tackle.  It forced us to slow down and focus on the very things that need our attention and action.

Among those are the disturbing images of Black men and women being murdered by law enforcement. Covid19 brought these images into our homes and can no longer be ignored. Now is the time, to acknowledge our privilege and join in the efforts that support Black Lives.  We cannot advise or counsel Black students without believing Black Lives Matters.  It is up to us as an organization to dig deeper into our systems, policies, and procedures to examine whether or not they support the advancement of Black students.  We must cultivate institutional allyship, ensuring a sense of belonging for all students on our High School and University campuses.  In  the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world.”  We are all involved in the work of equipping young men and women to change the world as true game changers and difference makers.

This year revealed the work that needs to be addressed and I ask that you join the association in reflecting on your practices and purpose. Your membership is vital to this work!  I urge you to stay or get INVOLVED!  Now is the time to take our work virtual in order to advise students and families.  This is definitely going to be a challenge and will require intentionality.   I want to urge you to lean into the discomfort of change and know that the very discomfort you may feel will evolve into growth.  We must keep a growth mindset when working with students and the complexities that come with them as it relates to their economic status, race, gender, religion, or sexuality to name a few.  I am humbled to serve KYACAC as President for the 2020 - 2021 year.  I am so thankful to our Executive Board for their encouragement and support. I am definitely choosing to lean in and examine my own lens and focus.  I encourage you to do the same with flexibility, a solution-oriented mindset, and grace.    

Jasmine Drinkard 

Public School Counselor, Louisville Male High School

President, Kentucky Association for College Admissions Counseling

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