Meet the CCA 2023-24 Career Guidance Specialists

College and Career Advantage (CCA) offers top-tier Career Technical Education to K-12 students within the Capistrano Unified School District with the goal to equip students for both higher education and the professional world. As part of an ongoing initiative to ensure that high school students have easy access to information about their post-secondary choices, College and Career Centers have been established at all six of CUSD’s high schools. Within these College and Career Centers, students have access to essential resources and technology that empower them to explore diverse college and career paths. However, the true value of these centers lies in the presence of Career Guidance Specialists. These specialists are dedicated to helping students navigate their options beyond high school and aiding them in identifying Career Technical Education (CTE) courses that align with their future ambitions. CCA’s Career Guidance Specialists leverage the College and Career Centers to conduct workshops covering topics such as career readiness, interview techniques, and college preparedness. Moreover, they offer personalized guidance to the budding professionals of tomorrow, ensuring that each student receives tailored advice based on their individual aspirations.

Autumn McClenaghan serves the students of Aliso Niguel High School.  She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Masters in Career Counseling and has over 20 years of experience working in both higher and secondary education.  As a Board-Certified Career Coach, she had her own business for several years before joining CCA as a Career Guidance Specialist.

Summer Yim serves the students of Capistrano Valley High School. She earned a BA in English from UCSB and a Master of Secondary Education degree from Northern Arizona University. Prior to being a Career Guidance Specialist, she spent seven years at Dana Hills High School in the Guidance Department supporting students in their academic goals. One aspect of Career and Technical Education she highly values is how CTE courses simultaneously  prepare students for both college and career pathways. She is excited to connect students to the wonderful CTE opportunities available through CCA and CUSD.

Marissa Davisson serves the students of Dana Hills High School. Marissa received a BA in Psychology from California State University Fullerton and a MS in Educational Counseling with a PPS credential from National University. Having worked across various educational levels from kindergarten to college, she’s committed to fostering student growth. Marissa’s excitement for connecting students with Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses is fueled by her understanding of their significance in her own educational path.

Stephanie Brizeno serves the students of San Clemente High School. Prior to being a Career Guidance Specialist, Stephanie spent eight years at San Clemente High School–first as an Academic Advisor, and later as a High School Counselor. These positions exposed her to Career Technical Education and the doors that CTE courses can open for students. In her words, “I firmly believe that CTE, career exploration, and goal-setting are critical components of students’ educational experiences.”

Lynne Bell serves the students of San Juan Hills High School. Before her role at CCA, she was an Academic Advisor with CUSD for nine years, helping students navigate high school and meet their college and career goals.  Her new role as a Career Guidance Specialist is a natural extension of this work. Lynne’s passion is being able to help students find their interests and develop a plan to achieve their career goals.

Maressa McDonald serves the students of Tesoro High School. She is a UCLA graduate with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling from Chapman University. Her background is in elementary teaching and elementary counseling before moving into her favorite area of education several years ago–advising students on CTE opportunities. She is a firm believer that CTE offers immense value to all students regardless of their goals and has seen CTE courses make a profound difference as students navigate college and career decisions.

If you are on campus, please be sure to stop by your school’s College and Career Center to meet your Career Guidance Specialists and learn more about the services offered by College and Career Advantage!

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