OACAC Scholars : In Their Own Words


Each year OACAC selects high-impact, under-resourced counselors to receive funding to attend the OACAC SummerConference as an OACAC Scholar.  These counselors are nominated by their peers and are provided funding to cover their travel, registration, and accommodation at the conference.  In most cases these are counselors who would not have been otherwise been able to attend a professional development event in other country, and often it is their first introduction to the OACAC community.

Please consider nominating your colleague to be a 2015 OACAC Scholar. Perhaps you are in a high school yourself, and know of another school in your community whose staff could really use the support.  Perhaps you are at a university and work closely with a counselor who you know is under resourced, and would benefit from the experience of attending OACAC.  Either way, counselors who are selected speak of a life changing experience - and that life changing moment starts with your nomination. Nominate a deserving counsellor today. 

Click here to access the 2015 Scholar Nomination Form 

How did attendance at the OACAC Conference benefit those counselors and their students? A look at what our Scholarship Cohort from 2014 had to say:

Karla Sagastume, Macris School, Honduras

The Financial Aid Stream was really helpful and it cleared many of my doubts, I felt that was my weakest area of knowledge, but I feel more secure about it now. I really enjoyed the study case of college applications; it was fantastic to hear how college admission officers do their job on reviewing applications and on taking such hard decisions. I also got to learn more about the college education in Australia and Netherlands.

I will be forever grateful with OACAC scholarship committee and especially with my nominator from Michigan State University, who so kindly nominated me. Thank you all." 

Flavia Murengezi, Green Hills Academy, Rwanda

It would take quite some time to tell or write what I benefited.

I am currently helping my students with applications, and the great thing is that now my students have a wide range of Universities to choose from.  I came across all these when I attended the University Fair at OACAC.  I am now working with admission counselors whom I met.  It makes a big difference.

I have also received so much information and brochures from most universities that I visited on the Bus Tour. My resource center is now well equipped.  I learnt a lot from the presentations especially how to manage my time as a counselor/and  teacher.  I even learnt to say NO!  I used to be stressed doing everything.

 The recommendation writing samples have helped me a lot, and hey!  I have updated my School Profile and been commended for it!!  I have conducted in-house presentations to all teachers about teacher recommendations.  I feel more confident than ever before.


Vijay Raj Tandukar, Meridian International School/Trinity International College, Nepal

Before I attended the conference, I had not met any other counselors. College counseling is a new concept here in Nepal with most of the students taking help of so called consultancies who advertise themselves as “Scholarship and Visa Guaranteed” to apply to universities abroad. I had to train myself with the free resources available online especially by CollegeBoard and school webpages for counselors. Now, I have access to the amazing group of counselors through Facebook and OACAC website.

Furthermore, the OACAC scholarship also allowed me to attend the OACAC bus tour that took us to diverse group of schools in Florida. Having just attended a small liberal arts college in the US, I could not always explain to my students about schools with a different setting and environment. After visiting these schools, I can now advise my students with greater confidence regarding different types of school. 

In a nutshell, with the OACAC scholarship I am no longer shooting arrows in the dark.


Columba Thadey, Loyola High School, Tanzania 

“No man was born for himself alone.” –Pedro Arrupe, SJ former General Superior of the Jesuits 

Time and life experience have made me realize that really and truly, we are born for others and not for ourselves. This saying of Pedro Arrupe became a reality when I was selected to be among the scholarship recipients of Overseas Association for College Admission and Counseling (OACAC) for 2014. It was a privilege for me to have such an enriching experience.

I am impressed by the follow-up and professional development sessions, which the OACAC is offering us as part of our membership. They are keeping us knowledgeable on how to become better professionals as we serve our students. We also get to know specific institutions and their admission requirements through these professional development sessions and resources. I was never trained on how to prepare a university or college fair. I acquired the skills on how to do it during the OACAC Conference.  This fall, I was able to prepare my students for the CIS fair.

The conference transformed me to be a better person in terms of guiding and counseling students to select universities where they deserve to be. I felt an urgent urge to do more. I shared my experience with staff during our weekly staff meeting and with students during the career talks. In order to reach out and share my knowledge with an even wider audience, I wrote an article which will be published in our school magazine.  If ‘Information is power,’ then the information I have shared with the students, teachers and parents of Loyola High School will empower them to seek more and strive for Magis in the Jesuit tradition. 


Share this post:


Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment