WELCOME: Sophia De La Rocha joins the Poly High School staff as a counselor.
By Guadalupe Meza, Staff Writer
As the new school year begins, Poly openly welcomes new counselor Sophia De La Rocha. Rocha is a counselor for students with last names A-DEL along with those in the Heritage Plan, a program designed to address the needs of African American students in Riverside Unified School District (RUSD).
Rocha grew up in Rialto and graduated from Rialto High School. After high school, she decided to attend the University of California, Riverside (UCR) for her Bachelor’s degree. She then went on to become a Trojan at the University of Southern California (USC), where she obtained her Master’s degree.
She decided to become a counselor because she deeply values education and loves working with kids. “I come from a family of immigrant parents who didn’t have the opportunity to attend school, so they always pushed my siblings and I to take advantage of the educational opportunities given to us,” Rocha said. Knowing the importance of education, Rocha wants to help students with their postsecondary plans so that they will become successful adults and community members.
Rocha has counseled high school students for five years now. Before becoming a staff member here at Poly, she worked at San Jacinto High School (SJHS) for four years. At SJHS, she helped build a comprehensive program based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. The ASCA National Model provides all students with a thorough education and establishes the skills and knowledge a students needs in order to be successful. The program she helped create resulted in an increased graduation rate and an 88% increase in FAFSA completions for the class of 2017. The SJHS counseling program received the Golden Bell Award for “Closing the Gap by Building a Results-Based School Counseling program” from the California School Board Association.
Rocha left SJHS, so that she can work closer to home. She decided to join the Poly family because of her fellow counselors’ amazing work here. “I knew that I would be joining a team with the same goals and philosophy towards student achievement as the one that I held,” Rocha said.
Her first year at Poly has been going great so far. “I love it! Even before I started my official first day at Poly, I had staff members and students reaching out to welcome me,” Rocha said. Poly is glad to have her on board and wishes her a great experience as a counselor.