Ann Powell Mentoring Program

Please contact Inclusion, Access and Success Chair, James Pennix, for questions about this program.

About Ann Powell

The program honors the memory of Ann Powell, Director of College Counseling at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and a leader within PCACAC as High School Delegate, Secretary, and President-elect before having to resign due to the illness that ultimately took her life in 2005. Ann was a model of professional excellence and an inspiration to all who knew her; and shortly before her death, she was presented with the Richard L. Apperson Award, PCACAC’s most prestigious recognition, given annually to one member who best represents the ideals of the organization. It was Ann’s expressed wish for PCACAC to establish a program to help mentor those new to the college counseling profession, whether as a high school counselor or as a college admission officer.

The Mentoring Program

PCACAC is pleased to announce that the Ann Powell Memorial Mentoring Program will be open for nominations from February 1 through May 1, 2016. Check back here for a link to the nomination form.

The Ann Powell Memorial Mentoring Program is open to new college counseling professionals (defined as fewer than five years of experience) from within the PCACAC region. PCACAC hopes that this program will serve as an outreach for the organization, especially to counselors from schools lacking the resources for professional growth and development. The Ann Powell Mentoring Program is designed to enable participants to:

  • grow professionally by attending regional and national conferences devoted to college admission;
  • build professional relationships and develop a support network;
  • come to a deeper understanding of the college admission process;
  • help students navigate the college choice and application processes more effectively. 

The first Ann Powell Mentoring Program experience includes complimentary attendance at the 2016 Summer Institute and college tour, followed by the 2017 Conference and Summer Institute. Recipients will be notified o/a June 1.

The Ann Powell Memorial Mentoring Program involves the opportunity for participants to have a mentor who will be available to provide support as needed, to attend two PCACAC Summer Institutes and associated college tours -- the first during the summer after selection and the second during the following summer -- and to attend one annual PCACAC Spring Conference held in April following the first Summer Institute.  All events are compliments of PCACAC. Covered expenses include free registration for each event, lodging (based on double occupancy), meals, transportation (there is a maximum reimbursement) and free membership in PCACAC.

Mentoring Program Participants

Become a mentor...

Nominations for the 2015-2016 Ann Powell Mentoring Program scholarship closed May 1, 2015! 

MENTORS are needed to support the program. Please take a few moments and complete our Volunteer Form if you are interested in becoming a mentor for this special program. The mentoring program is designed to provide first class professional development to those new to the profession of college admissions counseling.  Mentors assist in this process by serving as professional role models and an added resource to assist participants in becoming better acquainted with the profession.  We have a need for mentors of all backgrounds and each side of the desk, as our program participants include high school counselors, independent counselors, and admissions professionals.  The time commitment is very reasonable. Mentors are expected to keep in contact with mentees at least once a month (via telephone, email, etc.) for the duration of one year. We hope you will consider this very important job in sustaining the strength of our profession.

2015-2016 Mentees 

Jennifer Principe, James Madison University (VA)

Sekenia Welch, DC College Access Program (DC)

Mary Hunter Hardison, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (VA)

Daniel Rosa, Collegiate Directions, Inc. (MD)

2014-2015 Mentees

Kisha Mickens, Charles City County High School (VA) Mentor: Penny Deck, Maggie L. Walker Governor's School (VA)
Tim Walker, Virginia Commonwealth University (VA) Mentor: Merav Frazier, University of Virginia (VA)
Laura Laiti, Dominion High School (VA) Mentor: Crys Latham, Washington Latin Public Charter School (VA)
Jill Thompson, Galax High School (VA) Mentor: Sherri Gross, St. Margaret's School (VA)


2013-2014 Mentees

Cynthia (Cris) Jackson, Galax High School (VA) Mentor: Tamara LaPonte, King George High School (VA)
Rebecca Rother, McDaniel College (MD) Mentor: Libby Weith, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes; School (VA)
Georgia Smith, Dominion High School (VA) Mentor: Renee Norden, Highland School (VA)
Lynae Spratley, Wilmington Christian School (DE) Mentor: Kathleen Martin, Wilmington Friends School (DE)
Latasha Williams, Spingarn High School (DC) Mentor: Tracy Kyttle, Collegiate Directions, Inc. (DC)


2012-2013 Mentees

Faith Culp, Broadneck High School (MD) Mentor:  Kristin Krycia, North County HS (MD)
Thaddisa Fulwood, University of the District of Columbia Mentor:  Kelly Rawlings, VA Tech (VA)
Kate Gover, Smithfield High School (VA)  Mentor:  Josie Collier, Independent Consultant (VA)
Marshall McClung, Hampden-Sydney College (VA) Mentor:  Beth Clark, Virginia Wesleyan (VA)
Mary Madeline Webster,Radford High School (VA) Mentor:  Russ Ingersoll, Harbour Counseling Services (VA)
Liz Wulbrecht, The SEED School of Maryland  Mentor:  Lucy Neale Duke, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (MD)            

Nomination Process

Nominations for the program open in the spring of each year, with a May 1 deadline for submission.  Participants are typically notified o/a June 1.

Contribute to the Ann Powell Mentoring Program

PCACAC launches its inaugural class of Ann Powell participant at the Summer Institute 2008 held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  To continue to sustain the program, we count on the generosity of our members and those interested in supporting this valuable program. To make a contribution, send your contribution to:

Attention: APMP Contribution
PO Box 8308
Charlottesville, VA  22906

In their own words…comments from Ann Powell mentees:

Jennifer Dowdy, High School Counselor, Gretna High School, Gretna, VA, First Class of Ann Powell Mentees

It has been a great honor to be one of the first Ann Powell Mentees. I never would have imagined I would have learned so much from attending 2 Summer Institutes and the spring conference at Portsmouth. I feel more confident as a High School Counselor because I have had the opportunity to meet so many new people on the college admissions side and the high school side which both have taught me a great deal! I have learned different techniques and ways to better assist my students. It is a great sense of relief that I now have contacts at so many different colleges and I can put a face with the name. I was also very fortunate to have a mentor who was available and there when I needed her.  I think this is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is not very familiar with the college admissions process.   I am very thankful to everyone who has supported the Ann Powell Mentoring Program. Before being nominated last year, I had never heard of PCACAC before. I definitely want to become a permanent member and help promote the Ann Powell Mentoring Program. Thank you so much.


Melitta Brinkley, Windsor HS, VA, First Class of Ann Powell Mentees 

It has been a very exciting and informative adventure as an Ann Powell Mentoring Program Participant.  The college admission process was always a complicated and daunting process, but my first glimpse of understanding came in the form of the PCACAC Summer Institute of 2008.  At the Summer Institute, everyone was so approachable and down to earth. I could talk with the Director of Admissions at a university and ask any questions about the best classes for a student to take to prepare him or her for the rigor of a particular college program. I could ask a plethora of questions and the Director of Admissions would take the time to answer each and every question with genuine pleasure evident on his/or her face. 

I have never been to a professional conference and felt as if I was surrounded by family.  Many people were very easy to talk with and very comfortable to be around. I was given very practical and useful information to take back to my school and share with administrators, fellow counselors, teachers, and students. Information such as how colleges view Advanced Placement classes versus Dual Credit classes, great tips on writing letters of recommendation and college essays. I attended very useful sessions on ACT versus SAT and the difference between Early Decision, Early Action and Regular Admission.  I have gained from a wealth of knowledge and made connections with college admissions counselor from varied universities.  It feels awesome to be able to pick up the phone and call a college admissions counselor if my students have an admissions question in which I may not be able to answer. 

I will continue to be a member of PCACAC and attend at least one conference every year.  I want to thank PCACAC for selecting me as an Ann Powell Mentoring Program Participant because this experience has provided me with a thirst to continue to network with college admissions counselor sand to continue to learn about the college admissions process.


Ronnie Neal, Admissions Counselor, VA State University, First Class of Ann Powell Mentees, written after the PCACAC Conference

 … Just wanted to take some time out to thank you for such a wonderful experience. The past couple of days were of great benefit to my professional development. My colleagues and I were just discussing how much we enjoyed the PCACAC conference. I especially enjoyed being recognized as one of the first Ann Powell Mentor members. James has been a great help as well as an inspiring mentor. He has been guiding me through this process and sharing great tips and networks along the way. He is truly a great mentor and im lucky to have him as a point of reference. I also would like to thank Mrs Arlene Ingram. Her and I had a great conversation at the opening dinner. She welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home within my new environment. PCACAC is filled with great people who enjoy working the late hours and giving this profession the respect that it deserves; not to mention knowing how to have a great time while doing it! This will always go down as one of my great experience while developing as young professional.


Katrina Steele, High School Counselor, Churchland High School, Portsmouth, VA, Second Class of Ann Powell Mentees

I just wanted to send my thanks to you for the wonderful summer conference.  I have never been to a more enjoyable conference.  It was the best conference I have ever been to.  I learned so much and everyone was so friendly.  I was shocked with receiving the scholarship and very thankful that I was chosen.  I can't wait to attend my next PCACAC conference. I have been bragging about it to all who will listen.  Thank you again!


Sarah Kemp, Admissions Counselor, Marshall University, WV, Second Class of Ann Powell Mentees

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the PCACAC Summer Institute.  I attended the institute last year during my second week of work for the Recruitment Office at Marshall University.  The learning curve was high and fast and I became a sponge to everything everyone was saying about this new career I was embarking on.  The “New to the Job” session was perfect for me!  Most of the tips I received at the institute were not fully appreciated until I was out on the road, and I realized exactly what the admission counselors had warned me about!  But, with the knowledge and friendships I had gained at the institute I was able to embark on my fall travel season with confidence (even as a newbie). 

This year, my assistant director nominated me for the Ann Powell Mentoring Program.  I was delighted to be nominated, chosen and to accept.  With a full year under my belt, I felt I could contribute to the conversations that I had so readily quietly absorbed last year.  It was great to hear what other colleges were doing with overnight visits and student tour guides.  It became an interesting forum of sharing ideas of what worked and what did not at different colleges, including mine.  I had said to many during this institute that we are lucky to be in a position where we can share ideas of what works well and what doesn’t to make each college able to offer the best education to the best students.  In any other industry besides education, this might be unheard of.  I sincerely doubt Apple and Microsoft would meet up to discuss what works best for them!  I also enjoyed hearing from others with much more experience how they chose their career path.  As, I’m just starting out on this career, it is reassuring to hear others describe how much personal satisfaction they have received throughout their years in education. 

So, thank you, to everyone who made it possible for me to attend this Summer Institute.  Thank you for choosing me as an Ann Powell mentee.  I look forward to attending the PCACAC summer institute again next year!