By: Kreesh Teli
As teenagers are starting or ending their high school journey, many of the Ayala counselors are working to make the students feel more safe and cared for. One such counselor, Ms. Alexandria Sandel, has been a counselor for two years and is ready for the upcoming years of helping high school students.
Ms. Sandel attended Ayala High School as a student and went on to Azusa Pacific University. At APU, she graduated and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and minored in Leadership.
Sandel said the reason she pursued Psychology was because “I knew I wanted to help people in some way, I just did not know how. I thought maybe a therapist, or a child psychologist first.”
After finishing her undergraduate, Sandel continued at APU for her graduate program and proceeded to get her Masters in Educational Counselling with a P.P.S credential. At first, Ms. Sandel was a substitute teacher for grades K-12 and realized that she would like to work with high school aged-students.
Sandel said, “I knew it was a tough time for teens in those grades, and I wanted to be there to guide them through any personal/social, academic, or career advice or resources that they need.”
So, with her counselling and educational background, she took up the job at Ayala around two years ago. Since she has started, she and the counselors collectively started thinking of creative ways to reach out to the students. They have started an Instagram account, @Ayala_Counseling, and also a counseling newsletter to send out to staff. With these two inclusions, the counselors, parents, staff, and students are able to be proactive with announcements. Everyone is able to be more included and be informed on any activities in school.
“Knowing that I can help someone when they need it. My door is always open for my students. No matter what the topic is about, I am here to give advice, guidance, resources, or even just a listening ear if that is all you need. I am always here for you all,” said Sandel.
Her first impression of the school was relatively similar to when she was a student at the school, and she was familiar with her surroundings. She grew up in the city and she also worked in the City of Chino Hills in Recreation, so she was relatively fine with everything.
Outside of counseling, Ms. Sandel participates in many outdoor activities , such as hikes, traveling, and taking her dog to park. She also takes classes whenever she can, including cake decorating or even calligraphy; anything creative will catch her attention. With that, she also loves spending time with her family and friends and doing many more activities.
All in all, already in her beginning years, Ms. Sandel has worked extremely hard, building a communicative and hands-on connection with her students.
She has many tips for her students such as, “To always try your best with whatever you put your mind to. For stress, find those positive coping skills that work for you. If you are confused on what to have as a career in life, start shadowing or volunteering at different companies in the summers to see if that is something you really want to do."
To end it all, Ms. Sandel provided us with her favorite quote by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”