This past summer, Aniele Joseph joined the Heritage guidance team as the new ninth and tenth grade (last names A-Go) guidance counselor. With a degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity University, Mrs. Joseph decided to work with adolescents in a school setting, thus beginning her four year career in guidance counseling.
Mrs. Joseph grew up the daughter of Haitian immigrants, and therefore, led a different cultural life than other teenagers. “[My parents] did not get it. There were a lot of things they didn’t get,” Mrs. Joseph said. “As a kid I had to go into ESOL classes even though I was born in the U.S. because [my parents] only spoke Creole.” However, Mrs. Joseph did not face this event alone but with four sisters.
In ninth grade, Mrs. Joseph lost her father. “Figuring out high school without him was hard. It helped me discover that life is a little rougher than it should be,” Joseph said. However, this loss helped her form a different perspective that she can use to connect with single parents and students who have experienced a loss on a personal level.
Prior to working at Heritage, Mrs. Joseph counseled students at Dade Christian School in Miami Lakes. “I love it at Heritage. If I could go back to school, I would choose to go here for high school,” Mrs. Joseph said. In addition to the academics, Mrs. Joseph appreciates the myriad of options offered to students. “Ms. Blum told me once, ‘The core classes are the ice cream, but everything else is the toppings’ — and those make the ice cream so much better,” Mrs. Joseph said.
Now, as she joins the Heritage family, Mrs. Joseph wants to help students in any way she can. “I want to be able to meet my students and have a relationship with them; I want them to feel comfortable and know that school is a safe place for them,” Mrs. Joseph said.