Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School has a new college adviser, Juanita Gool. Her job is to assist in the process of getting seniors closer to their career choice.
‘‘I feel this is so important because I didn’t have anyone to show me the way to college and I just wanted to help,’’Gool said.
Like other high schools, King has had college advisers in the past. This is Gool’s first year as a college adviser.
Gool is employed by AdviseMI, a program of the Michigan College Access Network that aims to get more high school students to postsecondary education. Advisers work with students in areas such as exploring college options, helping them apply to schools and completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Having a college adviser is important because many seniors don’t know where to begin in making decisions about life after high school including what their next move is or how to transition into college.
Gool worked with first-year college students at Wayne County Community College District and Henry Ford College, but realized students need help before entering college.
‘‘When I heard about this position after I graduated from college, I didn’t want to stop doing what I love,” Gool said. “So instead of waiting for the students to get to college, I wanted to work with them before they head to college.’’
Gool is a product of Detroit’s education system. She attended Northern High School and graduated from Wayne State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in social work.
‘‘After working with students, it really opened my eyes to how necessary it is to have someone to help you and guide you through college life, especially being the first generation in your family,” Gool said. “Giving students the real side of this game of college is what I’m all about because I’ve been in many situations and have many relatable experiences that can really help the students overcome many obstacles they may face.”
On Oct. 30, Gool and other senior advisers held a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) party for seniors. The purpose of the event is to make sure all seniors have completed a FAFSA application. The party was in King’s media center for computer use and space for food, photos, and music.
“Being a 12th grader can be very stressful at times especially when it’s time to take care of the FAFSA process,” said senior Faith Fizer. “Ms. Gool has taken time out to make a list or her senior students to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to finish the FAFSA. She is an awesome person and an amazing college adviser.”