VISTAS Invited Articles

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Children of Promise

Marie A. Wakefield


“Children of Promise, Investing in Our Legacy” is an area of concentration that I have selected to use as a focal point during my term as ACA President. My 29 years of service would be in vain if I said, “Done,” severing the lifeline that initially motivated me to work with youth. I am just as committed now as I was when I opened the door of my first classroom. This generation of youth is challenged by more social, moral, ethical, and spiritual decisions than any other generation. Viewing a child through a holistic lens is a laborious task, sustaining the quality of life, a boundless journey. Our youth have a promising future, but it is not promised. I believe that their future aspirations and accomplishments hinge on the way in which we personify excellence, courage, perseverance, and a vision of hope. Children come into the world with promise and potential, trusting and lacking hatred, prejudice, and fear until they become challenged by poverty, spurred by violence, pampered into laziness, disillusioned by entitlement, or contaminated and/or scarred by adults who have abused, neglected, or misled. The principles we stand for and practice send a message to the future through children. My professional activities and daily routines allowed me to touch the hands of those challenged by adversity and sometimes by unconceivable atrocities. There are so many children who are trying to grow up in a land of violence, drugs, and spiritual deprivation, in a culture that is too fast, too busy, and sometimes too preoccupied.

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