If it weren't for high school counselors, many of us would not be where we are today. Counselors guide us. They point the way. Keeping students on track for graduation. But in some cases, keeping them on track, for life.
"As a counselor, we're really the first line of defense. Any time something happens with a student, I mean, we have 3,300 kids on this campus and eight counselors, so you can imagine how many kids we're working with day in and day out."
Nancy Witrado was nominated as a real hero this year for her attention to a student who was dealing with an extreme medical condition last spring. As a counselor, she covers everything from helping kids decide on a college, to calling 9-1-1. She also helps students deal with their emotions and fears. This situation was no different. It was her experience as a counselor, but also as a friend, that kept this student's health in tact.
"It's fight or flight. Something happens, you just take the initiative to try and do what you can and make sure that your student is okay."
Nancy's a favorite among students at Sunnyside High School. Just take a look at her wall, the letters, the cards, the pictures. She got into counseling because she wanted to help kids in crisis situations, to make a difference in their lives. Fresno Unified School District believes she is doing just that.
"Just being that extra, I like to think of it as an extended family member without crossing too many boundaries, but just having that person you can go and talk to when you need to talk to somebody."