High School Counselor Feature: Natasha Santiago, ITC

     Published on 2/7/17   Tagged under:    District News    ITC   

ITC School Counselor Natasha Santiago says 'I look forward to coming to work every day. Each day is an adventure!'“Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had a cubicle job where I crunched numbers all day,” ITC School Counselor Natasha Santiago said. “But I just can’t imagine doing that! This is so rewarding, and I feel like I can make a real difference here.”
 
Ms. Santiago has worked as a school counselor in the SCSD since 2007 – first at Corcoran, and since 2010, at ITC.
 
“I look forward to coming to work every day,” she explained. “I really do. Each day is an adventure!”
 
As a school counselor, Ms. Santiago works with students on everything from academics to social-emotional support to college readiness. This means facilitating conversation if a student and a teacher are having difficulty. It means talking through a problem a student may be having. It means giving classroom presentations, helping students sign up for the SATs, figure out where they’d like to go to college and complete their college applications. Not to mention, it means recruiting students for the Smart Scholars program, serving as the 9th grade class advisor and helping to coordinate the ITC students who are part of the Superintendent’s Student Cabinet.
 
“I get as much from my students as they get from me,” she said. “Some of the things they have to deal with are so big. I think: if it were me, I wouldn’t have made it. But they make it. Our kids are so real… so straightforward. I feel very blessed to have this job and to work with them.”
 
For Ms. Santiago, the connection to her students runs deep. A Henninger graduate herself, she said that shared city school experience helps students relate to her—and vice versa.
 
“I know what it’s like to be the first person in your family to go to college,” she explained. “It’s easy for me to develop that relationship with these kids, because I’ve been there. There are so many barriers for kids when it comes to their education. They bring so much baggage with them to school – emotional things, responsibilities… a big part of my job is helping them sort through that so they can focus on their education.”
 
Thank you, Ms. Santiago, for all you do! #SCSDThanksCounselors