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What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Amy Thompson
York Community High School

Though I’m not a Deadhead, I do appreciate a good song when I hear it. I also appreciate great people and that’s what has brought me to this final Admission Essay article in my role as IACAC Past President. While this trip has seemed long and strange (#thankspandemic), it’s been ever so rewarding too. As I reflect on the past three years and look ahead to the future, the people are what stand out. You all stepped up in whatever ways you could. People said, “Yes!” And that is what makes us IACAC.

I can’t say that at the beginning of my three-year term I would have predicted providing nearly all online/virtual content in an instant; even though we knew we wanted to move more programming in that direction to increase statewide participation. Though I hoped to improve our access and equity lens in our decision-making and planning, I didn’t have the vision yet for the formation of the Equity and Access Ad-hoc. Both of these came from happenstance and strong dedicated members who worked with the IACAC leadership to make ideas reality. What was reinforced over these past three years is that change can be thrust upon you and that the input of others makes all change better. So, if you’ve considered joining a committee, accepting a committee chair role, running to be a Delegate or Council Team Director, or running for another position, always know that you are NEVER ALONE. You will always have a team to work with and they will become your foundation.

In the Presidential Team, I’ve had the great privilege and joy of working with amazing humans: Roberto Suarez, Patrick Walsh, Megan O’Rourke, and Tony Minestra. I’m sorry I won’t have the opportunity to be part of those weekly meetings with Brian Hodges on board but I know that the IACAC Presidential Team will continue to move this association forward in great ways. When you are in the President role, you become part of every team in some ways: many times, you just check in and offer moral support and sometimes you brainstorm and bring your “big picture” lens. Having a variety of perspectives is so important and this is why all committees have three co-chairs (also to spread out the work). This is why diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be at the center of all of our work. We need public and private postsecondary admission people of all backgrounds from all kinds of institutions. We need public and private secondary level counselors of all backgrounds from all kinds of institutions. We need independent counselors/consultants of all backgrounds from all over the State. We need our like-minded organizations to share and collaborate with and to learn from each other. It’s not just something we talk about or have catchy catch phrases for. It’s real and it’s essential.

So, while these past three years have been filled with a lot more stress than I even imagined, and while I still have regrets for not doing more, I know I’ve done what I can. I sincerely hope that if any of you are thinking about stepping up to a leadership role, you will do it. We don’t lead to be recognized or receive accolades. We do it to make an “Impact”, develop a “Shared Vision”, “Look for the Good” and realize we are “Better Together”.

So, here’s to all of you and an exciting future for IACAC!

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