By Aamna Arshad ’18 and Safia Hamouche ’18
With college applications and students trying to keep up with their grades, senior year can be a fun yet frustrating time. Although it might get hard to manage, thankfully there is always someone looking over your shoulder and there to help you when you need it.
“I’ve been a college counselor at Midwood for the past four years,” said Ms. Lorrie Director. “I deeply enjoy being here and doing my job of helping kids in decided where they want to pursue their future education”
Before coming to Midwood, Ms. Director was a counselor at a school in the Bronx for a year, but then decided to bring her passion and talent here. This passion has allowed her to develop meaningful relations with the students because she understands what they are going through.
“I applied for an internal transfer through the city because even though I loved the Bronx, the commute for me was too long and was becoming difficult to manage,” said Ms. Director. “I was lucky enough that there was a spot open for me so then Ms. Bren called me in for an interview and the rest is history.”
Although Ms. Director is a college guidance counselor, this wasn’t always what she planned on pursuing. After she graduated from college she worked in a few different business companies and then was a full-time mom for a while.
“I realized that I wanted to be an educator about ten years ago, and I knew that counseling was what I wanted to do,” she said. “After taking a break I went back to school to get my Masters Degree because I wanted to help and guide students, and now here I am today.”
Ms. Director enjoys going through the college process with her students and feels the best part is helping kids discover what they really want for their future. The most rewarding thing for Ms. Director is when she is able to break through to a student and that light bulb goes off in their mind.
“There are some students who know exactly what they want. They go for it, and they get it,” added Ms. Director. “Then there are also some students that need a little bit of assistance in finding what they want and they are the reason that I am here.”
The most meaningful part of being a guidance counselor for Ms. Director is having the privilege to hear all the stories that students have to tell. The stories are unique and help Ms. Director engage with her students on a more personal level and help her learn more about her students.
Even though Ms. Director loves what she does, there are many challenges she faces and overcomes to help her students succeed. Ms. Director works with half of the senior and junior class. She helps them look into all the different college choices, and career paths. She makes sure no student leaves her feeling confused, only motivated and confident.
“I always have a caseload of juniors and seniors, about 70 students that I do programming and college counseling,” said Ms. Director. “I also share the entire junior and senior class for college advising with Ms. Koppel. It could be about 1,000 students every year.”
Ms. Director and Ms. Koppel try to get information out to everyone in mass, not individually because there are so many students. They use social media, Facebook, and upload information on the website. This way it is there and the students can check it out. Ms. Director feels that using the electronic resources they have helps aide in the college process.
“Another challenge is that not all students go on the website and the Facebook page to look at the information we put on their,” she said. Some students are completely lost at what to do, so that is when we have to bring them in and make sure that they know what they are going to do. It is definitely tough, but we always get through it and there is never anything that is easy in life.”
Ms. Director believes students need to pursue their own journey, and not let anyone or anything thing stop them from doing so. They need to truly understand who they are and what they want. Even though there is a lot of competition and stress that may follow through the whole process, they can’t let that change their path for a successful future.