Millennium High School is a small public school in NYC expecting one of our largest incoming class sizes in September 2020, increasing our overall school size to over 700 students. After a tumultuous year facing the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emotional impact of the BLM protests and movement, our students will be left with just one full-time guidance counselor to work with. We have a solution: we are asking for your help in raising funds for a second, part-time guidance counselor, Karina Ramirez, who has an established relationship with our students and a stellar track record to show for it. Read more in our full story below…
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Millennium High School is a small public school in New York City that expects to serve over 700 students next year. Our incoming freshmen class is one of our largest, with over 210 students. With looming budget cuts, Millennium only has one full-time guidance counselor guaranteed to return in September. The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1.
In any given year, the Guidance department at our school serves many of our students through individual and group counseling. Our most commonly addressed issues are anxiety and depression. We are fortunate enough to be in a school that values mental health, and supporting our students through the different stressors that may arise at school or home. Next year, we anticipate a greater need for socio-emotional support as students return from the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the great emotional impact of the BLM protests and movement.
However, with only one full time counselor, we are very concerned about our ability to meet the many needs of our students. Simply put, we desperately need more support for our students.
We have found a great candidate who interned at Millennium this year. Her name is Karina Ramirez and she has made a tremendous impact during her internship. When we transitioned to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Karina rose to the occasion and immediately started meeting with our students using teletherapy. She reached out to countless students and families in their time of need. A staff member recently said that Karina was basically another counselor at our school this year, not an intern. Any school would be lucky to have Karina as a counselor and we’re hoping she can stay with us next year (and beyond!)
Karina has been a support to so many of our students, and particularly a significant support for our students of color. This is an area that our school is committed to improving, and hiring Karina would be an important step in increasing diversity and representation on our staff.
Karina grew up in New York City and knows first hand what it's like to attend NYC public high schools. She is also bilingual which has been incredibly helpful when we communicate with parents, especially during meetings dealing with sensitive topics. Her role is imperative to the increasing needs our school has in growth and in diversity.
Here are what some of our students have said about their experience in working with Karina:
“Karina is one of the most kind, patient, and understanding people I've ever met… I'll admit I was a bit hesitant at first and almost didn't do the sessions. But after a few sessions with Karina I knew that I'd want to keep seeing her. She is so genuine and she creates such a comfortable and trusting environment. No matter what I said she always made me and my feelings feel valid... I would love nothing more than to be able to see her again next year... I love her and trust her and I think she would be a fantastic addition to the Millennium community.”
“This year has been a roller coaster, but having Karina - she kept me in check spiritually and emotionally so I hope Karina comes back next school year and is able to positively impact other people’s lives like she has mine.”
“I wanted to... express how much I absolutely adore Karina! Knowing that I have a trustworthy and kind adult I can always confide in at Millennium High School gives such a meaningful and powerful assurance... more meaningful than any other guidance counselor I’ve ever known. Not only is she intelligent and charismatic, she encourages her students to strive for more and love each other and ourselves. I'd sell my liver to have her again!”
“I have always felt comfortable speaking to Karina... I always feel understood and supported by her. Also, she has a good sense of humor and we always share laughs during our sessions… she’s amazing.”
How You Can Help
The new normal the Millennium High School community is about to face will be much more challenging without Karina’s aid, so we are asking for yours.
Please help us fund a part-time counseling position to better help our students this year. Ideally, we would like to raise these funds by September, in time for the 2020-2021 school year. If our entire network contributed just $17 each, we would meet our goal.
We also understand this is a tough time economically. Even if you can’t contribute financially, spreading the word about this campaign would count equally as much. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support!
What happens if we don't reach our goal?
If we don't reach our goal by the September 2020 deadline, we will keep this fundraiser open for as long as possible. We've chosen September as our deadline so that Karina can continue working with the students she has already met in the 2019-2020 school year, and hopefully start working with the incoming class of 2024.
If we don't reach our full goal, the collected donations will still only be used to fund a Guidance Counselor at Millennium High School.
About the MHSAA
The Millennium High School Alumni Association was created to enhance and enrich the community of Millennium High School by: fostering a lifelong relationship between Millennium High School and its alumni, providing a professional networking platform for a diverse alumni base, and promoting and facilitating alumni sponsorship of academic and extracurricular programs.
Since its founding in 2016, the MHSAA has strengthened our collective community by: creating an alumni-student mentorship program, raising funds for student scholarships, creating workshops for students focused on teaching equity, and hosting Alumni Day and class reunions.