Walter Pineda is paying it forward. The Associate Director of College Counseling at Miami Country Day School in Miami, Florida, is a first-generation college graduate who attended college through the help of a counselor. When his family emigrated to the United States when he was four years old, “I was at a disadvantage from other students,” says Pineda. “How to apply, what does it take, how to pay for it, what you do to pay for it – it was foreign to all of us. It was the help of a counselor and resources I could find in the library that enabled me to apply.”
After graduating from University of Rochester, Pineda began his own career in college counseling at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Five years ago, he joined the staff at Miami Country Day, a diverse coeducational K through 12 school with approximately 975 students. The upper school has a strong college preparatory program that includes a commitment to community service — a culture that Pineda says he particularly appreciates.
As our Counselor of the Month, Pineda shares his advice for students and families here in our Q&A: