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Compton Unified Wins Power of Hope Award Recognizing Counselors

Media Release

Compton Unified School District recently won the 2024 Power of Hope Award, which recognizes school districts that engage school counselors in leadership roles to effectively organize and implement, college and career postsecondary enrollment strategies in grades 6 -12. The Power of Hope Awards are recognized by The National Postsecondary Strategy Institute (NPSI) and Reach Higher and Compton Unified was one of only four districts nationally that earned the award this year.

“The Power of Hope Award is built on the belief that the nation’s economic growth is dependent upon continuing to get more low income and predominantly minority students to and through college,” said Stephanie Owens, Executive Director of Reach Higher and Vice President of Student Advocacy and Counselor Engagement at Common App. “We’re honored to partner with NPSI to recognize these four amazing school districts and the work their counselors are doing to change the lives of students and the communities in which they serve.”



“We are proud to recognize school districts that have moved school counselors from the periphery of leadership into a centralized role, engaging them as data informed leaders who are empowered with resources to help all students receive the support and experiences to reach for an educational credential beyond a high school diploma,” said Joyce Brown, founding partner of NPSI.

The four winners of the 2024 Power of Hope Award are the Compton Unified School District; East Central ISD – East Central, Texas; Pinellas County Schools – Pinellas, Florida; and Santa Ana USD – Santa Ana, CA.

Compton Unified earned the award for the following: CUSD implements a postsecondary advising model that infuses collaborative college and career readiness practices across the district, which includes a centralized school counselor role aligned to the district’s strategic plan. This model provides all students with one-to-one postsecondary planning. The counseling program is supported with funding and training that enables building relationships with administrators, and teachers to provide individualized student support strategies throughout the financial aid and application process.