Michelle Obama Cites NACAC Data in White House Remarks

First Lady Michelle Obama used NACAC data Friday to help shine a spotlight on the importance of school counselors.

The comments were woven into Obama’s remarks honoring 2017 School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski.

“A recent study showed that students who met with a school counselor to talk about financial aid or college were three times more likely to attend college and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for financial aid,” Obama said, referencing a NACAC report released last month. “Our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher story.”

The comments were part of Obama’s last official White House remarks. During her husband’s time in office, Obama used her national profile to promote college readiness and access through the Reach Higher initiative, as well as the Better Make Room campaign.

Both efforts are focused on helping students further their education beyond high school — a topic that is near and dear to this year’s School Counselor of the Year. The award, presented annually by the American School Counselor Association, honors professionals who go above and beyond to help students succeed.

Tchorzynski, who works at the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, revamped the college counseling services offered to students in her district after learning teens struggled to navigate the admission process.

During her remarks at the White House, Tchorzynski celebrated the special role counselors play in the lives of their students.

Through persistence, caring, and support for our students we make a difference in their lives, and they make a difference in the lives of others,” she said. “…Our students and their stories are why we love what we do.”

Watch Obama’s speech and read a Q&A with this year’s School Counselor of the year.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.