Kelvin Piazza

Kelvin Piazza
Kelvin Piazza, School of Education, Master of Arts in Counseling

What have you done that you are proud of?

When I think of my educational purpose, which involves advocating for social justice in public K-12 schools, the proudest moments of my career are those pivotal moments when I have the opportunity in IEP meetings, student success team meetings or professional development meetings to communicate what is in the best interest of a specific student or for all students. "Students First" is a concept that is often invalid when stakeholders make decisions on behalf of students. On a daily basis, as a child welfare and attendance advocate, I assist students in finding their voice while learning how to communicate their needs; teaching self-advocacy in schools – this – makes me the most proud.

How has your work made an impact on your community, school, agency, classroom, clients or students?

Navigating through public K-12 education has proven to be a daunting task for some students and their families. As a specialized PSA (Pupil Servers and Attendance) Counselor, I assist students in grades 9-12th, at Fairfax High School, who are facing school and community barriers to completing graduation requirements through advocating for appropriate school accommodations and by providing free community resources to help fill their achievement gaps. In all, PSA Counseling allows me the opportunity to positively and comprehensively influence the school culture.

What evidence can you share that demonstrates this impact?

In February 2016, as a School-based PSA (Pupil Services and Attendance) Counselor at Edison Middle School in Los Angeles, under my supervision our attendance team was responsible for the school receiving a total amount of $7,167 for proficient or advanced attendance submittal for semester 1. We used these funds to purchase attendance incentive rewards for students such as; medallions for graduating 8th graders, school memorabilia for monthly attendance rewards, perfect attendance certificates and fieldtrips.

The personal development that I achieved through LMU's Counseling Program has provided me with the skills required to confidently advocate for social justice in schools.