The Beginning

 Amanda Sterk, school counselor and Founder of Unmaze Me

Amanda Sterk, school counselor and Founder of Unmaze Me

First of all, I want to thank you for being my reader of this first post for the UnMaze.Me blog. When thinking of what I would want my first post to be about I knew I wanted to express my dedication to helping parents and students through some of the toughest years of their lives: adolescence.

I knew I wanted to be a school counselor after one of my band teachers began getting her Master's Degree in Counseling and started fulfilling the role of a compassionate, knowledgeable and oh-so helpful counselor in the lives of my friends and I. There are countless stories about how through her help we all overcame some serious obstacles in our teenage years. Not surprisingly, many of us today have followed in her footsteps whether we are school or substance abuse counselors, nurses, social workers, etc.

After fifteen years in education, I have worked on all sides of the fence: teacher, counselor, and administrator. I have also had the privilege of teaching students from elementary through college level, allowing me to see the many different facets of growing up and how the educational system helps, and sometimes deters, that process.

Being a high school / college counselor now, I see daily the lack of resources available to parents and students today that are reliable and easily organized for the needs of students. I am often looking for a one-stop shop to guide parents on the many questions they have about the educational process; unfortunately, there is none.

I whole-heartedly believe that school guidance counselors are an invaluable resource to parents and students. However, I also realize the struggle of counselors today that often have a student load of over 1:450. While the recommended average is 1:250, I know of one school that has a ratio of 1:800! Also, our time is often divided between other duties such as testing, administrative duties like supervision, and countless meetings and committees that pull us from providing counseling to our students. When I do meet with parents and students (which I love) I find that they often have similar questions and concerns. This is the hole I wish to fill: a place you can find quality information that allows you to problem solve by yourselves, which would then allow for a better conversation when you do meet with the counselor or school.

I hope this website becomes an essential piece of your lives as parents and students during these adolescent years, a place you go when you have a question or a concern. My wish is to bring in experts in the relevant fields of adolescence to focus on the three domains of student lives: the academic, the social and emotional, and finally the college and career. Thus, through excellent resources, community conversation, and packaged product, Unmaze Me can live up to its name, helping you feel free of the maze, making high school simplified.