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Please join us in celebrating SSIS Director of High School Counseling and University Guidance, Ms. Kelly Braun, who has been awarded the Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award.
The prestigious Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award is presented by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to individuals who have been “at the forefront of initiatives advocating for students and access to education.” Previous recipients include former US first lady Michelle Obama.
In 2018, Ms. Braun and seven other women stepped up to help 62 international students whose full scholarships were suddenly revoked by the university in Texas where they had been accepted. The news came in late April, long after the application cycle for the year had ended. Learn more about the work they did in this video from the NACAC awards ceremony.
Forming a group called “Justice League,” Ms. Braun and her partners, seven other female university counselors from around the world, spent the entire summer finding new universities for the impacted students. In just three months, the Justice League accomplished what many said would be impossible, finding full scholarships for 49 students to begin their fall semester in the United States, Canada, Nepal, Qatar, and South Korea. And in the following months, the Justice League also found university placements for the remaining students.
One Small Thing
“I’m a firm believer in access to education,” says Ms. Braun. “By doing one small thing you can potentially change someone’s life. Most of these students and their families come from low-income families. These students’ college education can positively impact an entire community.”
At SSIS, Ms. Braun is known as a fierce advocate for her students, so it is not surprising that she stepped up to the plate when the odds were not in the students’ favor. We are proud of her thoughtful leadership and commitment to access and inclusion.
University Counselor Sam Jeong contributed to this article.