By Ashley Spencer, M.A.
My first-time at the IACAC conference was an enjoyable experience. I came to the conference a little nervous about how the members would treat the “first-timers” but my feelings of anxiety abruptly changed after the registration. Everyone that attended the conference was friendly, inviting, and willing to help and assist with any questions related to the field. I quickly felt that I just met extended family for the first time.
The sessions that were provided were informative and well-organized. The presenters did not hesitate to answer questions after the sessions and share their contact information if you had outstanding questions related to the topic. I received a lot of valuable information and I plan to implement new strategies to my own counseling responsibilities that were outlined in the educational sessions.
The theme of “Connections” held up to its name. The ice-breaker connection activities were arranged in ways that were not awkward but gave us professionals a chance to relax and enjoy the company of being in a room with like-minded professionals. I connected with individuals that I have never met and reconnected with individuals that lost touch. The best part of the conference was I reconnected with my own high school counselor, who I contribute to myself joining the profession of being a high school guidance counselor.
In all, I was able to reach out without reservation, meet new acquaintances, and now stay connected. I would like to thank IACAC for providing a conference for counselors to have the opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. I suggest anyone that is new to the counseling profession attend the IACAC conference to build a solid foundation with professionals that go or have gone through similar struggles and are there to assist.