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High school counselor motivates and supports students

Leticia Bravo looks to improve Latinx relations within the Ballard community

Christian Moran, STAFF REPORTER
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 27, 2019


Pictured here is Counselor Leticia Bravo. Having moved schools from Chief Sealth in the 2018-19 school year she is well known for her active involement with the Latinx Student Union.

Pictured here is Counselor Leticia Bravo. Having moved schools from Chief Sealth in the 2018-19 school year she is well known for her active involement with the Latinx Student Union.

Students often see her with a smile and a face full of joy, ready to help students with whatever issues they might have. Alongside her fellow counselors, she is the only non-white counselor at school, many students aren’t aware of Leticia Bravo’s Latinx culture.

Bravo worked at Chief Sealth for several years as a school counselor, a College advisor for programs under TRIO — a program under The Higher Education Act acting as a support service and talent search — and as a high-risk youth case manager. She worked with kids that were close to dropping out, got in academic troubles, or had court involvement.

Her first year at Ballard was a whole new experience. “I was super nervous, I didn’t know what to expect because the population is much different from Chief Sealth,” Bravo said. “I didn’t know any staff members here, I felt like a little kid going to school.’’

She transferred because she felt Ballard would give her a difference experience working up and close in the classrooms through counseling sponsored programs. It’s well known the diversity factor in our school is not very high; her goals are to “get involved with the school community and improve connections with minority students families.”

She’s had an impact on many students in the school community, including alumnus Carlos Luna. At school, he was an activist and a leader who left a mark with his involvement in the mural project, and gave the Latinx community voice by unmasking the daily struggles of minority students.

“Senior year I wasn’t doing much. [I was] trying to get things done and finish everything right away with nothing to look forward to,’’ Luna said. Walking down the hall, lost and with nothing to fight for, Luna had never really talked to his counselor until his senior year.

Bravo talked to him and changed his mind. She motivated Luna when she named him president of Latinx Student Union (LSU). He then had something to look forward to, a place where he felt welcomed and loved. She created an outlet for people like him to express and feel welcome to a school where people from Latinx background have a hard time trying to fit in.

She has experienced many hardships and ended up at summer school every year in order to graduate on time. “High school was rough, I struggled a lot academically and I didn’t make the best social choices; I just kind of fell into the wrong crowd,’’ Bravo said. She went to three different high schools throughout her four years due to her behavior. “The toughest year was my freshman [year], I was trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in.”

After high school, everything changed. She went to Yakima Community College completing her Associates Degree, then transferred to Eastern Washington University where she got her degree in social work. “I felt successful, which is something I never felt in high school,” Bravo said. Feel free to stop in and chat with Bravo, with her thoughtful and loving comments, she’s sure to change the lives of many students.

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High school counselor motivates and supports students