Get To Know Us! CCR Spotlight Jhanne Hooker

Posted on

007-06

Meet Jhanne Hooker, College Success Advisor (CSA) for the HISD Office of College & Career Readiness. Jhanne supports college access efforts at three different HISD campuses: Carnegie Vanguard, Jane Long Academy, and Liberty High School. She comes to HISD from the Texas A&M AdviseTX Corps, where she served as a college guidance advisor in Aldine ISD. Jhanne knows that every student is capable of achieving the extraordinary, and continues to emphasize the importance of effective advocacy on the part of the advisor, as well as self-advocacy on the part of the student.

I can allow neither past nor present preconceptions to determine students’ futures. My job as an advocate is to encourage my students, instill confidence, and maximize the opportunities available to them. In my interactions, I hope to help them achieve their desired goals, preparing them to be change agents and civic leaders within their communities in the process.

One of Jhanne’s biggest push efforts this school year was ensuring that each student at her campuses utilized Khan Academy, to prepare for the PSAT and SAT. Though colleges and universities review student applications holistically, test scores play a major factor, especially when a student’s financial aid award is being packaged. Students have several free, high-impact resources at their disposal, and effectively utilizing these resources can change their college and career trajectory immensely.

Working at Carnegie Vanguard helped me realize the urgency in making sure students have access, and are using all resources available to them; this is a key factor in maximizing their opportunities. I cannot be satisfied with a student’s performance, simply because they are above the school’s average. Instead, I must challenge all students to compete amongst America’s best. Now, I see major improvements among the students at all of my campuses.

It’s no secret that schools today experience a shortage of counselors; the counselor-to-student ratio is 465:1 in the State of Texas (American School Counselor Association, Student-to-School Counselor Ratio). After counselors assist students with students’ academic, emotional, and social well-being, little room is left to focus on college and career goals. College Success Advisors like Jhanne fulfill this critical need, challenging students to think beyond high school graduation. They encourage students to stay on a positive track, finding a gateway to better, more sustainable financial futures, and ultimately allowing students to become more actively-engaged global community leaders.

In the midst of her hectic schedule, Jhanne always finds time for her students. Sometimes, however, she has to get creative, in an effort to ensure that every student receives the personalized attention and support needed to succeed.

Technology drives the way we communicate with others— with this in mind, I diversify, keeping up with my students through a variety of different and engaging ways (e.g. email, text messages and face-to-face meetings). This allows me to assign tasks and follow up with students effectively and efficiently. I also learned that I must consistently hold my students accountable to the college readiness tasks I assign.

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