National School Counseling Week is celebrated each year during the first full week of February. School counselors play an important role in helping students face and overcome challenges they may encounter at school or outside of the classroom. At YES Prep, our Student Support Counselors (SSC) work with every student that comes into their office and provides them with an individualized school counseling program.
Meet some of our outstanding SSCs here at YES Prep!
Alexis Waters, YES Prep Eisenhower
Alexis Waters was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. Waters graduated from Marist College in New York with a degree in elementary and special education and graduated from SUNY New Paltz University with a master’s in school counseling. Waters has been a school counselor for nine years, two of those serving at YES Prep Eisenhower. During her free time, she enjoys working out, traveling and listening to music!
What do you love most about your job?
I am passionate about the opportunity to pay it forward. I faced many challenges in high school. It took a village of support, including my basketball coach, to help me become resilient. I love that I am able to play a major role in the trajectory of our students’ lives. I try to be the type of person our students need, the type I needed when I was their age.
Nicholas Hardy, YES Prep Northbrook High School
Nicholas Hardy is from Memphis, Tennessee. Hardy received his master’s in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Hardy has worked in this field for ten years, four of those serving at YES Prep. Outside of his work at YES Prep Northbrook High School, he works on completing his PH.D. at the University of Houston and enjoys spending time with his wife and 3-year old daughter, Brooklyn!
Why is your job important?
Counseling provides a safe place for students and allows them an opportunity to receive support, encouragement and vital services when they need it most. In my role, I am able to offer these and more, while helping students navigate experiences of trauma, challenging relationships and future opportunities.
Andrea Gourdine, YES Prep Northline
Andrea Gourdine is from Marietta, Georgia. Gourdine received her bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and her masters from Walden University. She has worked in this field for four years, two of those serving at YES Prep Northline. In her free time, she enjoys Facetiming her parents and friends, cooking and watching ABC’s 20/20.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because every day I get the opportunity to help students find solutions when they believe that one does not exist, be a shoulder to cry on when support is unseen within their close circle, be their personal cheerleader when they reach their goals, and have a front-row seat to the construction of an awesome human being in the making.
Rebecca Martinez, YES Prep East End
Rebecca Martinez was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Martinez graduated from YES Prep Southeast in 2006. After high school, she earned her bachelor's degree from Barnard College and her master's from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in education for 10 years, five of those serving as a Student Support Counselor at YES Prep East End. In her free time, she enjoys going to Houston sporting events, and spending time with friends and family.
What do you love about being a Student Support Counselor?
I love my job because I empower our students and families to overcome systemic barriers by providing/connecting them to a variety of counseling and community services. I love all of my East End familia!
Support Provided at the Campuses
Our SSC’s work closely with teachers, special education staff, and college counselors to make sure appropriate academic supports are in place for our students, when necessary.
Student Support Counselors can provide or help facilitate support for any of the following:
- Mental health concerns
- Relational Aggression or bullying
- Family or home life concerns
- Behavioral concerns
- Academic struggles
- Financial hardship
- Teen pregnancy
To learn more about our student and family services, visit our website at https://www.yesprep.org/departments/student-family-services