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Chapter 38 - #Sheroes


Together, we've experienced the full kaleidoscope of human emotion over the last three months, but this week, one emotion in particular rises above the rest for me—gratitude.

You've given everything you've had to serve families since this crisis began, and I want you to know how thankful I am. 

This will be the final week of 2020 Reflections I send before pausing for the summer, and gratitude will be my theme for the week.  I will start by sharing a few reflections I've been holding onto since the pandemic began, which are all about gratitude.

Today's reflection comes from Ofelia Ryan, Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor for City of Angels.  She sent this reflection in March, when the anxieties and uncertainties of this crisis were overshadowed only by our gratitude to colleagues for being there with us to adapt, invent, anything we could to meet our families' needs.  Ofelia addresses her gratitude to—as she puts it—her #Sheroes in Pupil Services in Attendance.  I echo her gratitude, and want you to know how thankful I am, and we are, to everyone in SHHS.  Thank you, all.  Thank you, Ofelia.  


This week I was able to sit down and reflect on the Friday before, when we all heard that the schools were going to be closed, and I received concerned calls from my colleagues. 

That weekend confirmed how selfless and committed Pupil Services and Attendance PSA Counselors are; every counselor calling me had suggestions on how to support our families in need. At that time, we began to strategize on how to keep the community supported and united in our struggle against COVID-19. We suggested to have a PSA Counselor at each Local District answering calls, and to have other PSA Counselors at the Resource Centers and others supporting the schools as needed. 
Then, overnight, everything changed, families were asked to stay home and LAUSD’s plans changed accordingly. I began to wonder how to simultaneously promote physical distance and social connectedness. Again, PSA Counselors began suggesting ideas and... boom! I was called to volunteer. That’s how I found myself packing food at a Grab and Go.
These experiences have led me to think about the many PSA Counselors who are parents, or caregivers for a disabled person at home; how we are worried about our children, our families and yet, we have made time to plan and to help others. To date, my colleagues and I are managing the situation as best we can, and we have been extremely helpful providing mental health and other kinds of referrals to support our community.
I feel proud to be a part of this amazing group: Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors are wellness and equity advocates, during routine days and in moments of adversity such as this.
PSA Counselors are my #Sheroes; I am proud of my UTLA brothers and sisters.  When we return to school we will have yet another bond, not only as employees, but also as part of a community who helped each other and worked tirelessly for the sake of the most vulnerable.

Pia and Ofelia

[Note: The photo above is of Ofelia]

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