A Beacon of Support in Western Hills University High School
From providing emotional support during turbulent times to offering invaluable guidance on college applications and career choices, school counselors play a pivotal role in the future lives of students. In the halls of Western Hills University High School, Cindy Gray rises to meet the challenge.
Gray, with her background in computer science, brings a unique perspective to her role as a school counselor. Gray created an automated credit check sheet that reviews students’ necessary requirements for graduation in a simple and easy-to-use format. She says this system has saved her, along with other CPS counselors, weeks of time in data input.
Aside from student data, she provides a sanctuary where students can express themselves freely, knowing they will be listened to without judgment.
“Sometimes our teachers don't know everything that's going on with our students and they need that safe place where they can come and talk to somebody that's going to listen, going to validate how they’re feeling and then help them through whatever it is that they're going through," said Gray.
Her empathetic approach creates a safe space for students to discuss academic struggles, personal issues and mental health concerns.
Cindy's dedication goes beyond simply listening—she empowers students to confront their challenges head-on, offering practical advice and resources to help them overcome obstacles and thrive.
“I had a student who came in the other day who thought they had applied to UC, and when I checked, we had realized there were a few things he still needed to complete,” said Gray. “We sat down and finished it together and the most rewarding part was when he left saying ‘Thank you! You’re always so helpful and looking out for me.’”
Through her compassion, Cindy leaves a lasting impact on the West High community, exemplifying the role a counselor plays in the lives of students.