The Westwind

All about Alyssa Stanton

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Freshman year. All these new students come pouring in ready to start a new experience but also nervous to begin high school. Counselors are the people to go to in this case, to talk and help students get started. Alyssa Stanton is one of many of these people that work for the main purpose of helping kids with what they need, whatever that may be. Along with having kids and being a part of a family, she takes on not only her own problems, but students from Arvada West High School as well.

Before coming to work at A-West, Stanton worked at Northglenn High School but has been working at Arvada West for three years. She came here during the school year of 2016-2017. She has two kids: one daughter, who she had in May 2018, and one son, who is now 2 years old. Her kids were part of the reason that she moved her work to A-West.

“I was at Northglenn High School and I had my son during the summertime and even though it’s not super far it was still like a 45 minute drive and when you have a kid your world changes,” says Stanton. Because Arvada West was a far shorter drive from her house, she jumped at the opportunity. “It was super close and I wanted to work in the community I lived in.”

Not all of the counselors in the main office have the same reason for becoming a counselor. But as for Stanton, her reason to become a counselor was mostly due to her mother-in-law.

“My husband and I have been together a really long time, we started dating in high school and his mom was a therapist and in conversations with her, it really sparked my interest and so when it was time to decide what I was going to go to school for, it was between engineering and psychology and eventually go into counseling.”

She chose to go into engineering at first, but then she knew that wasn’t the right path for her. She found out that she would rather work with people and help them as much as she could, so she tried counseling.

Stanton said, “After working with both adults and in that area and that field I realized that school is fun. I mean because it’s just a different relationship that you can have with students. It’s just fun.”

Some people work just to work. They do it for money, to support their family, or for themselves, or whatever reason they may have. But Stanton counsels because she really cares. Even though she has one hundred plus students to care for, she handles each one with kindness and gentleness. She is sympathetic for each of her students. She feels the happiness and the pain that they feel because she engages in their life and cares about their story. She truly wants for each student to feel like they are in a safe space when they talk to her.

Stanton says, “I can’t believe how resilient you guys are as young teens and adults and then just what you go through it’s hard and its taken a lot of time to be able to leave a lot of the work stuff at work, it does carry home, especially with some of the stuff that goes on and that students have to go through.”

Being a counselor, she has seen it all. Stanton listens and cares for each of her students and has a desire to help them in whatever way she is able.

“I can’t believe that they’re still coming and they still put up a smile on their face, but it’s definitely rewarding to see when they just feel a release even when even they’re just talking about it and they can’t solve their problems but just talking about it, you can see that release and it’s a nice feeling.”

With kids of her own, Stanton is nervous to see what will happen with her own kids when they reach the age of high school. Seeing what some modern teenagers have been through gets her thinking about what her kids will experience when they become teenagers. “Even though I know they’ll face challenges and things like that but it does sometimes scare me like ‘Oh I don’t know if I can handle that’ but if we get to that point, at least I’ll have some experience being able to talk through some of the stuff but it will of course be different as a parent in the parent world.”

Stanton has had one kid already so she has mastered the course, she has figured out how to manage school life and home life. But she has a new daughter as of May 2018.

“I figured it out, how to balance work family and all that with one kid, and now I’m figuring it out again. It’s definitely a challenge because I love my work here but I love my family too so they always take the priority and I’m eager to get home to them.”

Stanton wakes up every day knowing she will get to help someone that day. Not only is she excited to do that, but she is excited to see how, 10 years or so from now, her kids will get to experience the life of an Arvada West High School Kid. “I love it here, I hope my kids come here if I stay that long.”As for her kids, Stanton says, “Your whole world changes. Your priorities change and everything… they’re exhausting but totally worth it.”

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