Mr. Vicks First Thought

So. This is my 2nd time going to ASCA Conference. This year it was in Beantown. Boston was actually a more diverse city than I expected. A lot of pride support (small businesses/big business district), Muslim and Asian residents were very prevalent. It was not on the level of Los Angeles, but hey, I Love LA…We Love It. I will get to my thoughts of the conference in a moment. Some things to try when you go to Boston:

  1. Beehive (Restaurant on Tremont Ave.) Live music, nice menu and ambiance. I wish I would’ve brought my sax, I could’ve made some coin to help pay for my meal.
  2. Walburgers (One by Fenway). It was wicked good. Except for the “onion Rings”. More onion strings, but still good. I will suggest you have them add the Walburger Sauce to your burger. It will give it an extra kick.
  3. Boston Park/Market. My wife did an excursion while I was at the conference and thoroughly enjoyed walking the city and enjoying the sites available.
  4. Prudential Mall ( Its all connected to the Marriott and Sheraton and leads to the Hynes convention Center. There wasn’t a need for shuttles this year. I will get to that later.
  • Now to my conference. I actually got here a day early unlike last year (novice error). I was able to relax some and walked around a bit. I liked the location with it being connected to the Hynes and being connected to two of the host hotels. Very easy access.
  • There was a big emphasis on mental health, tech, and diversity. I think this was great that they put an emphasis on these topics from what I saw. A lot of good presentations were available for those who wanted to expound into those areas.  
  • A lot of Professional School Counselors of Color (PSCOC) were representing their schools. I was Proud to see Mr. Coleman as the SCOY, but I would’ve loved for him to speak at the Opening Session instead of the Ed Talk on Monday. This is a small detail, but I think it would’ve/could’ve been more inspiring to hear from our SCOY when we arrive.
  • Saturday’s Level meetup could’ve been in a bigger room and set up as a bigger mixer, but I believe they were experimenting with this. Good concept. I wished it was bigger. The express sessions should be in a bigger site. I think ASCA didn’t expect to have this amount of participants to engage with RAMP requirements; which was great to encourage more counselors to apply for RAMP. Maybe next year they could do a ED talk for RAMP with highest concerning sections (Advisory Council/CTG/Core Curriculum/Annual Admin. Conference/NEW ASCA Model Changes).
  • PSCOC were repping in presentations and gave me the itch to apply to present next year. TBH, I was a little scared and intimidated because of my topic, but after seeing the presenters, I could’ve done it and done well. So I will apply to present next year on …………I Ain’t telling y’all nothing. 
  • The networking with PSCOC. Mr. Sharp is a dynamic and encouraging PSC and I briefly chatted with him and we follow each other on the Twitter, btw, @FabethePSC, @ApplingPSC if you wanna hit the blue button (I refuse to create a snapchat account right now). Kimberly Brown (SC Georgia) is so nice. I didn’t get a chance to pick Laura Ross’s (Georgia SCOY) brain, but I think I have an idea of what I wanna improve for myself next year.
  • Despite it all, from what I saw, we still have a way to go on more diversity in our field. My observations, I saw 1:5 counselors were a POC, and 1:20 was a black male PSC. We have to find a way to recruit, raise and retain black male counselors. Studies show when representation of black males in education, AA male students will perform higher. Representation matters.
  • I am glad some PSC from Bibb County (my county) and our Counseling Director was able to come this year and I feel this would be great to be able to send 5 Counselors each year. I will make sure I turn my proposal in each year to go. This is a great opportunity to collaborate, network, learn, and experience different ideas and views from across the country and world.

So all in all, I enjoyed Boston, I was out of my shell a little more. Got more confirmation in my goals and how I want to expand my toolbox as well as becoming an even better PSCOC. Hope to see you all next year.

ASCA Conference 2018

Thoughts on my #ASCA2018 trip to LA. LA is a great city. Wouldn't mind living there. Didnt have to deal with discrimination or racist under/over tones like the south has. Ride sharing is the move. Don't rent a car unless you need to go outside LA. I went with Yolande, my wife, and we also took in The Broad (museum with free admission in advance). Great pieces of art that was on display. We also went to Grand Central Market. Various restaurants with different styles like Philippino cuisine, Asian fusion, etc. There are vegan options available. Another positive was the progressiveness in tech (Apple/Samsung Pay).

The actual conference. First time to the conference so I was apprehensive throughout because of the amount of people, but a good experience. What I did notice was the lack of female and male PSC of color and that is something that will need to be addressed within the next 10 years. There is an opportunity to raise these numbers and have a bigger voice in ASCA And having true diversity.

A lot of the subjects covered it doesn't affect me now, but they will in the furure (diversity, HS, etc.). A lot of support with mental health, mindsets, and self care. I didn't attend those sessions because I can research for myself and we will have a mental health clinic this year at my school.

The main focus for me in the sessions I selected was to advocate and promote my counseling program and leadership. Those were helpful, insightful, and great to view other PSC's perspective in regard to their programs. I met a few counselors and shared our experiences with caseloads, duties, and various ideas. I am working on some things to become a more efficient counselor.

What I will take away from this experience is the fact that we got on a plane and went. I am appreciative of the opportunity to go to ASCA this year and working on attending next year.

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