Photo by Manuel Mata-Flores ’19 | Mrs. Kate WidbIn talks to her counciling group about the upcoming PSAT on Thursday Oct. 5, 2017 in Romely Hall.
By Matthew Zacher ’18
The College Counseling Department provides personal, academic and college counseling to students beginning in their sophomore year, and this support is much needed as students are now submitting college applications.
The department consists of five college counselors with a wide array of experience in their fields, including two counselors with past experience at the University of Notre Dame and Harvard University.
Mr. Oscar Borboa ’05 has been a counselor at Brophy since 2014, after having worked advising students at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.
“We are ‘college counselors,’ but that title can be a little misleading,” he said. “We are not just here for college counseling.”
Mr. Borboa said that other schools would label their role as “comprehensive counselors,” because of the role they play not just in college admissions, but in day-to-day academic life, class scheduling, and personal affairs.
Jackson Holinger ’18 is counseled by the newest addition to Brophy’s Counseling Department, Ms. Megan Erdely, and he affirmed Mr. Borboa’s sentiment that Brophy counselors offer this comprehensive support.
“She [Ms. Erdely] is very caring,” Holinger said. “She is always on you, but in a good way that is very supportive. There is not a mean bone in her body.”
Holinger meets with Ms. Erdely every couple weeks for a half hour or so, and he said that she has a great command of the application process as well.
“She helps a lot with my essays,” he said. “She helps me with what to say, but also when to say it.”
Mr. Borboa said that, while counselors still make regular contact with sophomores and juniors, their most pressing priority is assisting first semester seniors with their applications, especially writing letters of recommendation.
“Each of the five counselors probably have 30-35 students in their pool who are applying early,” he said. “So, between the month of September and October, those 30 rec letters might be close to 60 pages worth of writing.”
These letters are not empty words, however, as Mr. Borboa said that he and his fellow counselors develop meaningful relationships with their advisees.
“By the time they are seniors, I feel like I know my students very well,” he said. “To be honest, it would be a shame if we didn’t.”
Enrique Ortega ’18 is counseled by Mr. Borboa and said that he appreciates the hands on role his counselor takes.
“I like that he follows up on things for me on naviance and makes sure I have everything done on time,” Ortega said.
Ortega said that he has a great personal relationship with his counselor.
“He is always checking up on me, and he knows my personal story well.”