Recently, the American Counseling Association Government Affairs team attended the annual National Career Development Summit (NCDS) this January. The NCDS, hosted by the Coalition for Career Development (CCD), was held for the purpose of advancing the career development profession, including career counseling. The event featured bipartisan Administration and Congressional leaders with the goal of making career readiness the top of U.S. Education.
The summit’s goal was to identify actions necessary to implement the vision laid out in CCD’s Career Readiness for All released in 2019. To prep participants for breakout sessions, speakers included:
- Former Secretary of Education John King on how career development can better promote equity;
- Assistant Secretary Scott Stump on the federal role in promoting career development;
- Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, on the importance of the ‘Counseling for Career Choice Act.’
In particular, I was deeply moved by the young-adult panel, which included Enoch Jemmott of Queens College, a student profiled in the film “Personal Statement.” A screening of a portion of this award-winning film was included in the agenda for the day and Enoch was introduced by the filmmaker, Director Julie Dressner. The film was a touching and realistic portrayal of the struggles high school seniors and college students from non-traditional backgrounds face.
For Enoch, the FAFSA was a challenge that required months of arduous outreach and consistent follow up in order to file appropriately, given that his mother was residing at a homeless shelter at the time. Enoch was burdened with having to navigate a system of nuance without the support or resources most have at any given time. His story is not unique for those who come from under-served populations and communities. The power and importance of career counselors in advancing the well-being of these students and ensuring better life outcomes was starkly revealed through the life story of Enoch Jemmott.
Thus far, Enoch has worked hard to carve a path toward success with the support of his college career counselor. Enoch is now a senior at Queens College and was a member of the young-adult panel. Enoch spoke of his work promoting peer led story telling. He explained, “If a student interacts with stories, sharing stories and hearing stories, their chance of success exponentially increases.”
For more on the National Career Development Summit: https://www.coalitionforcareerdevelopment.org/2020-national-career-development-summit
 Visit personalstatementfilm.com to learn more.