Staff spotlight: Tisa Frederick, College and Career Specialist

Photo courtesy of Tisa Frederick

Tisa Frederick is the College and Career Center Specialist and has been working at WS for eight years. Her email is [email protected] for anyone with questions regarding post-secondary planning or opportunities.

Post-secondary planning is an anxiety-inducing phase of life that all high schoolers go through, but Tisa Frederick, the College and Career Center Specialist, can ease such worries through the abundance of resources she has to offer.

 The College and Career Center is a resource hub for students and parents pertaining to information about life beyond high school. Frederick’s role serves as a facilitator between students and the possibilities of the future. Her position includes coordinating university visits, in-house/outside scholarships offered through various organizations, and volunteer and job opportunities. She also provides material regarding financial aid and ensures that all this information is disseminated throughout the school. 

“The Career Center is for everyone,” said Frederick. “Utilize all [the] resources that are there to take full advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you.”

Students may feel overwhelmed by the countless options regarding their future. Nothing is set in stone, however, and Frederick’s own story is an example of this. She found herself at this job by chance, with initial plans to start a career as an accountant, but ended up changing her mind.

“I decided that near my junior year of college, that accounting was not what I wanted to do,” revealed Frederick. “I was almost done with my degree, so I went ahead and finished it out. The summer before my senior year, I got a job working with the incoming students at the college I attended. Helping them figure out their path was where I found my love.”

Her plans then included continuing her job in the admissions office, which she did for 11 years. She then ended up switching paths to working with high schoolers, which is where she felt her true calling was.

“I felt that I could make a greater impact in secondary education. In post-secondary, the students were already established [and] had [decided] what they wanted to do with their lives. Secondary students need a bit more direction, so I felt that I could make a bigger impact with them,” explained Frederick. 

Her job is particularly demanding; from keeping up with information regarding different opportunities to building relationships with admissions and military recruiters and organizations within the community, her schedule is often packed. Despite the many challenges, Frederick nevertheless finds this position to be rewarding.

“I had a student that came in to see me [that] recently moved from Africa. He [was] a senior, so we talked about college and choices that were available to him. At the end of our conversation, he told me: ‘Thank you so much, Ms. Frederick, when I came in here, I didn’t think it was going to be possible for me to go to school, but after talking to you, I felt like I have so many different opportunities.’ Those are the types of moments that help push me to keep moving forward. Even a thank-you note or an email helps everybody in the building keep going. We’re not always looking for a pat on the back, but sometimes we feel like our work is unappreciated, so having that every now and then boosts your spirits,” said Frederick.

Outside of her job, Frederick has also taken it upon herself to sponsor numerous clubs, such as Girl Up, Ethiopian and Eritrean club, and Black Student Union. She is also the head advocate for the school’s College Partnership Program. 

“I love [being a club sponsor] because it allows me to form tangible relationships with students. [Since] I am responsible for sending out information to all students, [there are] almost 2,500 students that I provide information for. So the fact that I’m a sponsor allows me to make those one on one connections with students where I can get to learn about them,” said Frederick.

Life after graduation may feel daunting, but there is no reason to struggle alone throughout this process. There is aid available at every step along the way in the form of the Career Center and the community of staff and students.

“I’m a firm believer that wherever you end up, that is where you’re supposed to be. There are limitless options of what you can do,” expressed Frederick.