New College Counselor: Keily Pacheco


Max Ma & Richard Zhang, Senior Editor of Social Justice & Managing Editor of Digital

The College Counseling Office is one of LFA’s greatest student resources on campus. This school year, the office welcomed a new member to the team, Keily Pacheco. 

Pacheco was born and raised in Waukegan, just 15 minutes away from LFA. She did not leave the area until she went to Franklin Marshall College in Pennsylvania to earn her bachelors’ degree in sociology. After graduating, Pacheco joined the College Advising Corps, a national program that recruits undergraduate students and places them in nearby high schools to serve as college advisors. Pacheco is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish, and Italian which she picked up in college. This enables her to interact with a diverse range of students with different linguistic backgrounds.

The primary factor that drove the college counseling office to seek out more members to the team was the increasing size of the senior classes. Mia Rogers, the Associate Dean of College Counseling, said that the current “senior class size increased from 90 to around 120 students, but the number of counselors hasn’t grown. More counselors allow us to split out students in a way that is more equitable. Students won’t be fighting to meet with us during free periods and breaks.” In the past, there have been four full-time college counselors at LFA, when Carolyn Gorowski was still working in the office. When Gorowski became the Dean of Admissions, she still had a small number of college counseling caseloads; however, with the increasing number of class sizes, it made more sense to alleviate her workload and hire another full time counselor. One prioritized requirement when hiring a new counselor is previous college admission experience. “If you never sat in a college admission committee and never had those conversations. It is more difficult to have a conversation with students about what the college counseling process is like,” said Rogers. 

“When I came for my in-person interview, I just fell in love with the community and the college counseling team,” Pacheco said. “There is a lot of collaborative work, which is very rare to see out in the real world. I used to work very individually and territorially in our space. But that is not the case here. I love that. I love the teamwork.” 

Beyond the admission office, Pacheco was drawn to LFA’s interconnected community. “This is a tight community where you always have something to fall back on and support. That’s what really motivated me,” she shared. Pacheco believes it is crucial to build relationships with students before working with them, so that the college counselors can better help them navigate through the application process and find the right fit. 

Currently, Pacheco is still learning about the role she will play. She does not have a senior caseload right now but is assisting the current college counselors with editing student essays and greeting college representatives. Next semester, , she will be assigned a caseload of 17 Juniors counselees and is excited to start meeting with them in January.