“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day” -H. Jackson Brown Jr. That is the quote that Bre-Ann Richardson sent me when we were emailing. Coming from her, it made so much sense. If a single quote could embody one person, this quote is her, and everything she stands for.
“My family and I moved from Houston Texas, in searching through the greater Portland schools, Camas was one of the top Districts within the state of Washington, and when I did the research about the schools, and about the student growth, it aligned with my ideas of what a high school education should be for high school students, by teachers caring and the variety of academics that are available.”
Bre-Ann Richardson came a long way to be here in Camas. She is a new counselor and she absolutely loves her job. There were a lot of places that she could have gone. But after research, she decided that the high school in the middle of the sleepy town of Camas, had exactly what she was looking for. For Richardson, Camas had the education system, and the Tradition of Caring that led her to be a counselor to begin with. It was not easy though, it was a long career path that started when she was a high schooler.
“I knew in high school that I wanted to be a school counselor so I really worked hard on that career path. So I took a variety of different routes. In Texas you are required to teach before you can consuel. So I taught, and taught a lot of other classes, before I became a counselor. I’m very involved in giving back and giving hope, and for me it is very helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of at a high school level.”
It is very easy for people to decide on a career plan when they are young, it is even easier for people to change their minds when they get into college, or when they realize the workload their career path entails. Not Richardson. She has kept on this path since her senior year in high school. She made a commitment and she kept her word. Where did her conviction come from? Who inspired her so, that she full heatedly leaped into the counseling path and never looked back? According to her, a counselor that she had growing up.
“I had a high school counselor. I moved from New Orleans to Houston May of my junior year. In order to graduate on time, I had to work with a different credit route. I had to work very closely with my counselor to figure those out. Also to figure out, where I would go to college. She was a stellar counselor. I remember bouncing my ideas off of her for my graduation speech.”
She loved it then and she loves it now. Richardson expressed that her favorite part of counseling was, and will always be “whenever students have this individual “aha” moment of yeah, this is what I want to do, and I can do it and this is how I will do it.” She loves that her passion for others can lead to them figuring out what is important to them.
Most importantly, Richardson loves to help others, it is that love for others that led her to become a counselor in the first place, it is that love that leads her to be so involved in the Camas community, and any community she resides in. In Houston she worked in several homeless shelters using her professional skills to help people in need.
“I really enjoy being a part of the Camas community as a whole. I have a four year old son who goes to Pre-K here in Camas. I’m having lots of fun being part of the Camas community, I feel the students and staff are very lucky to have this.”
Richardson loves it here, and it is apparent. She speaks warmly, with a smile on her lips and in her eyes, when she talks about everything that she has done to be here. Richardson literally has a smile that lights up the small little 800 room she has been assigned, and it is for that reason that she is a good fit here at Camas High.