Luther Burbank High School has had a bad reputation for years. It has a history of drugs, violence, and being the school choice for the difficult kids. However, in recent years, Burbank has developed into a very culturally rich and resource heavy place to learn, with staff members who encourage and help students to succeed.
Like many other high schools, Burbank has clubs and sports teams, but what sets it apart is their College and Career Center and its counselors. The College and Career Center is open before school, after school, and during lunch.
The center is filled with information about colleges around the country, scholarships, internships, and job opportunities. On-the-job training is provided for students who work the center so they can gain job skills. Students have access to computers to search for and complete college or job applications and write admissions essays.
“It’s a one-stop center right here at the school,” says Emily Catlett,a counselor at Burbank.
Counselors are available to help the students whenever the Career Center is open, as well as during school hours. The student-to-counselor ratio at Burbank is about 250:1, and is based upon the Small Learning Communities model. Catlett is the counselor for the Law and Social Justice SLC.
“I really like the students, parents, and the administration,” says Catlett. “The students who use the Career Center ask questions and show a lot of interest in their futures.”
Students I met with say they are doing just that. “I learn a lot from Ms. Ross. says Benito Aguilera, a senior in the Law and Social Justice SLC. “She’s very helpful and provides a lot more opportunities than I would on my own.”