Shannon Bergeron, firstname.lastname@example.org
I always knew I was expected to go to college, but didn't have much help along the way. My parents did not attend college and I vaguely remember talking once or twice to my high school counselor (but never about college). I applied to two schools and ended up going to the University of Utah as a physics major on a music scholarship. I was ill-prepared for this experience - from not understanding debt and student loans to realizing how much physics and math I didn't know. I wanted to be as far away from home as possible, and I succeeded at that. After a semester of record snowfall and a professor discouraging me from studying science, I knew this was not the right place for me. I transferred to a school less than an hour from where I grew up, which is exactly where I was supposed to be.
I attended the University of North Texas, where I earned my degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. I headed to Boston to begin my career. After five years in the corporate world, I decided that my work needed more meaning. At the end of the day, I wanted to know that I was making a difference in the world.
I moved north to Maine, family in tow. I found myself at Maine Central Institute, working alongside the Academic Dean and as a dorm parent . It was during this time that I began helping our international students with their application process. I loved helping these kids navigate the process and making sure they dotted their I's and crossed their T's. I knew this is what I was meant to do. I went back to school, earning my M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Maine and began my school counseling career at Maranacook Community School in Readfield, Maine. The heart of my work focused on creating a college going culture for all students, and breaking down barriers to access higher education.
During my time in New England, I worked on advisory boards for the College Board, Maine Counseling Association, and Finance Authority of Maine. I presented regularly for the MELMAC Education Foundation, National College Access Network, and The College Board.
In 2010, my patience with winter dwindled, we sold the farm (literally), and headed to warmer climes in Austin.
I am currently the Lead Counselor at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin, Texas (ranked #1 high school in Texas by Niche). As a first generation student myself, I learned so much about the college going process that I want to share with others. I regularly present sessions to students and parents about academic and college planning. I have helped students (and their families) successfully find the best "fit" for their post-secondary goals for more than 16 years. I am a member of the American School Counselor Association, Higher Education Consultants Association, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Prior to my leap into education, I worked as a marketing associate in the music industry, and also owned an organic farm and apple orchard in Maine. In my spare time, I train for and run marathons.