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Siblings: A College Counselor’s Reflection

Much of the staff at Campus Bound has worked here for several years.  It’s a fabulous place to work for many reasons, including: the collegiality among the staff, the guidance of the senior staff and supervisors, and, most importantly, the clients we serve.  One of the great things about working at Campus Bound is the honor of being able to work with a family over several years.  It’s one of the true joys of my job.

Now that I have worked for Campus Bound for nearly four years, I have had the pleasure of working with a few sets of siblings.  But let me backtrack first to give a clear picture of how that happens.  When a new client enrolls at Campus Bound, the parents and student fill out a “Counselor Fit” form, indicating their availability, particular needs, style of counselor they prefer, etc.  Then, a member of our leadership team reaches out to a counselor they feel would be the best fit. A counselor can decide if they have the ability and interest in taking on each client.  We have the final say.  It is very rare that a perfect match isn’t made right out of the gate. The families and students I have worked with over the years have been amazing.  But I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve been lucky, largely because of this process we have in place.

 

After working with a family to help one child, it’s really great when that same family gets in touch a year or two later to ask if I would also help a younger sibling. Yes! Of course I always agree.  It’s one of my favorite aspects of what I do.  I have previously written about how siblings within a family typically go through a very different college exploration and application process. So, in a way it’s like starting fresh with a completely new student, but it’s helpful to already have met that person and their family. I know how they work and they know how I work, despite the circumstances oftentimes being very different.

 

I met Claire and her family three years ago. They live close to me so it made sense for us to meet at their home rather than at one of the Campus Bound locations.  I got to know Claire and her parents, but would also from time to time see Claire’s younger sister, Grace, as well.  It was a pleasure working with Claire and her family and Claire is now a sophomore at a college she loves!  She is a tour guide for the admissions office there too, which goes to show what a great match it is for her.  Now Grace is a high school junior and I get to work with her as well. I get to hear how Claire is doing, visit Grace at home, see mom and dad and have the same dogs snore at my feet under the table during our meetings.

 

Everyone who works at Campus Bound does this work because we love helping students and families first and foremost.  Getting to specialize in one area, the college admissions process, is a pleasure. But getting to work with families over many years, and help siblings, is a true gift.

 

Written by: Kristen Bixby