How a lack of counseling can detour youth

Adonis Richards
5 min readOct 30, 2019
photo credit to dfyf.org

Lack of counseling outside of school can prove to result in troublesome effects for youth. For a lot of students, their counseling extends only to their guidance counselors and nothing more. How long are these interactions? Fairly short from my personal recollection and not too informal or entertaining. I did have a caring guidance counselor on the contrary, but I didn’t spend much time with him outside of schedule creating him pushing me towards college. Outside of that, I had little in the framework of guidance throughout my youth. I cannot imagine what this could be for youth across the country. As we grow into our adolescent and teen years our attention spans lessen, our desire for social acceptance grows, and our sense of direction becomes clouded by the ladder. This meaning our trajectory can be detoured by the momentous amount of distractions and pressure that comes with these years. Without proper guidance, who knows how many of our youth can fall to the wayside

A 2016 article from the Atlantic titled The Undervaluing Of School Counselors States that the national average ratio between counselors and children is 491:1, a stark eclipse of the recommended ratio of 250:1. These numbers are staggering when it comes to assisting children with their pursuit of higher education and seeking better lives. Personally, 250:1 is a high number for a guidance counselor to handle, let alone 491:1. In some places, such as California and Arizona the ratio is 822:1 and 941:1 respectively. This is also problematic because a lot of these schools are from low-income households or are first-generation potential college students. A lot of these students don’t receive the necessary guidance from home, because there isn’t any, to begin with. Coming from low income or being first-generation there is no one to guide them necessarily, which can have disastrous results. Then, at school, their guidance counselor possibly has to deal with about 490 more students, a great portion who have the same dilemmas. Also, they potentially can’t fit their counselors into their schedules because of the conflict of time. So what happens? These students can’t get guidance on what to do for higher education, they can’t get proper information on SAT and ACT prep, or college prep, or any other further education and they end up falling to the wayside potentially because they can’t reach that…

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