DVC Welcomes Their Third Counselor, Monique Aldrete

As DVC continues to expand, there have been subtle changes in order to accommodate the growing student body. DVC has been in operation for nine years now, and they’ve recently welcomed their first counselor dedicated to college and career related help. 


DVC has about 500 students. With the rapid increase of students, concern about counselors’ availability to accommodate all their students arose. In order to fix this problem, DVC hired a third counselor specifically for any college or career preparations. Monique Aldrete is now in charge of ensuring that students are prepared for college, providing any necessary resources, and giving class presentations on important deadlines that must be met. 


Aldrete first sparked her interest in becoming a school counselor when she started helping her younger sister apply for college. Aldrete also did Saturday tutoring sessions for students at Bell Gardens High School. During this time, she started to become invested in helping those in her community. She continues to carry on this passion towards helping students here at DVC. Aldrete elaborates on how her previous internships and work places correspond with the way she can help students at DVC.


“When I was doing my internship at Hollenbeck Middle School, the school counselor really embedded the thought of providing resources to those who might not want to go to college and have different career paths in mind. How do I as a counselor help those students? How can I help these students be just as successful as those who are going to college? All of these thoughts have really made me want to continue to help all the students here at DVC even more.” 


She went into more detail about how she was able to transition and get caught up with how DVC runs things.


“When I first got hired, I made sure to talk to Ms. Barba who at the time was the 12th grade counselor for anything academic, social, emotional and college and career related events. Since she has been here for the past five years, I believed that she was the right person to go to when it came to asking her what are some things that she believed went well and what she could improve on. It definitely gave me an idea on how I could help the incoming seniors,” said Aldrete. “On the other hand I attended workshops that would help me prepare for any questions related to UC, Cal State, Privates, and Common App. Since everything is changing, I wanted to make sure I was up to date with all the information pertaining to requirements and deadlines.”


Students, specifically seniors, have been thrilled to have the opportunity to have a third counselor for College and Career Readiness. Senior student, Valeria Gonzalez, believed that having a third counselor here at DVC has been incredibly helpful and beneficial.


“She makes it seem like college isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. She’s really supportive throughout the entire process. The whole time that we were talking, she was always making sure I understood everything.” 


To further understand how DVC students are feeling, Senior, Priscilla Amaral mentioned how she often meets with Aldrete. She explained how at ease she feels going to someone who has the resources to help her.


“Ms. Aldrete’s specialty is working with colleges. She brings in a lot of resources and information that a regular counselor wouldn’t have access to,” said Amaral. “She gives you reassurance, even if you don’t know what to do. She helps you find out what you want to do in life or at least gives you different options.”


Having three counselors on campus seems to be widely appreciated by students. With college deadlines on the rise, having extra help will help increase the chances of success for all students at DVC.