Joseph Lujan is an alumnus of UOG who is a student counselor at John F. Kennedy High School.
He received his Bachelor’s in social work with a minor in Sociology in 2008. Three years later, he completed a Master’s in counseling with an emphasis in school and mental health counseling.
When Lujan graduated in 2008, he wanted to become a social worker, but instead he became a student counselor.
“I became a student counselor by accident,” Lujan said.
He explained that most places weren’t hiring for social workers and if they were, it was a three to six month waiting period to get into the government. “One of my friends said, ‘lets go become student counselors’ and I said, ‘okay, shoot let’s go try it out,’ so I applied.”
His first job was at D.L. Perez Elementary School and loved working with kids.
He took some time off work to work on his Master’s degree.
He landed a job at Benavente Middle School, where he worked until August 2015. He then transferred to JFK.
“There is no typical day,” Lujan said.”I wish there was. Your day always varies.”
Lujan explained that everyday is different and is what he enjoys about his job. He said he’s either talking to parents/students, helping students, doing paper work, or helping prepare seniors for life after high school.
Helping students doesn’t stop there. Lujan is also an adult advisor at Youth for Youth Live Guam(YFYLG). YFYLG focuses on youth empowerment and encouraging youth to live a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. As an adult advisor, Lujan assists members of the organization and encourages other teens in the community to live a positive and healthy lifestyle.
“The skills I learned as a counselor, I’m able to apply it to my work with Youth for Youth, ” Lujan said, “A lot of them look to me as a mentor.”
He helps coordinate their annual youth conference which is always held at the Hyatt around Spring. He helps train the youth members also known as facilitators on presentation skills, issues on topics such as substance abuse, suicide prevention, team building, and how to run a “family group” which is a small team of 10 to 15 teens. He teaches the skills he’s learned from UOG to the facilitators at a high/middle school level.