Reach Higher and Collegewise Announce First Annual Excellence in College Counseling Award Recipient

Honoree from New Orleans-area high school to be recognized during College Football National Championship Game

NEW ORLEANS (PRWEB) January 10, 2020

Reach Higher at the Common App, in partnership with Collegewise and the American School Counselor Association, will celebrate high school counselors and award the first annual Excellence in College Counseling Award. The celebration will coincide with the College Football Playoff National Championship weekend and Extra Yard for Teachers Summit celebration on Saturday, January 11th. In addition to the game, the weekend will also include a full schedule of professional development and activities for high school counselors from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. As part of the weekend's festivities, Reach Higher and Collegewise will honor Farah Parker, the college and career counselor at Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, as the inaugural Excellence in College Counseling Award recipient.

"We are overjoyed to partner with Collegewise and the College Football Playoff Foundation in New Orleans this year to celebrate counselors and educators," said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of Common App. "We know that school counselors are critical to helping students successfully navigate their postsecondary paths and tear down barriers to college access. Common App is proud to support the hundreds of thousands of school counselors who work tirelessly to help students achieve their college dreams."

"School counselors are dream whisperers for our young people," said Eric Waldo, Executive Director for Reach Higher. "Counselors help students visualize and realize a future that a young person often yet can't see for themselves. By putting students on a path towards a higher education, school counselors are unlocking opportunities around the country. That is why we are so honored to partner with Collegewise, the College Football Playoff Foundation, and the American School Counselor Association this year to celebrate these incredible changemakers."

"We are thrilled to partner with Reach Higher and the College Football Playoff Foundation to bring much-needed recognition to the great work that school counselors do throughout the country. Every day, counselors are mentoring and encouraging students as they guide them into their futures. They are a vital backbone to each community where they serve. Collegewise is especially thankful this year for Farah Parker, our inaugural recipient of the Excellence in College Counseling Award" said Joel Block, Collegewise CEO. "Thank you, Farah, for all that you do for your students."

Parker received her BA in Educational Studies from Dillard University and MA in School Counseling from Xavier University of Louisiana. She is dedicated to helping students achieve their dreams and has even been known to chase students down the hall to remind them to complete their school and FAFSA applications.

About Collegewise

Since 1999, Collegewise has helped more than 24,000 families with their students' college admissions process. For 20 years, we have remained steadfast in our belief that applying to college can be a thoughtful, positive experience when students are empowered with the tools and information to take ownership of the next chapter in their lives. Our counselors come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are former admissions officers, high school counselors, and graduate degree holders. We've read thousands of college applications and essays from both sides of the desk—as both admissions officers and college counselors.

Collegewise's mission is both simple and ambitious; it strives to provide top-notch admissions advice to students who need it, regardless of their ability to pay for one-on-one counseling services. Every year, thousands of people download Collegewise's free resources, tune in to its free webinars, and attend its college admissions seminars across the United States and Asia. For more information about Collegewise, visit

About Reach Higher

Reach Higher, started by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time at the White House, works to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, a four-year college or university, or in the military. Reach Higher continues to help underrepresented students navigate the college-going process by raising awareness about helpful tools and resources; meeting students where they are and tailoring technical assistance to meet their unique needs, and building the capacity of the school counseling profession. The Reach Higher initiative now lives at Common App, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. For additional information about Reach Higher and the Common App, visit and

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