Hoover Welcomes Two New Counselors

Neala Ebrahimi and Ada Sandoval join the Tornado staff.


By Linus Hartigan and Madison Luka

Many freshmen and seniors at Hoover have been wondering who will be replacing their counselors who left the Hoover Ohana earlier this year. Counseling and guidance are important parts of one’s development, and since Hoover is well versed in the topic of mental health and support for their students, they just adopted two new counselors, Neala Ebrahimi and Ada Sandoval.

Like many teenagers, Ebrahimi, the senior counselor, wasn’t sure of the career path she wanted to pursue while in college. She eventually ended up studying psychology and getting a degree in school counseling. 

While having experience interning at Daily High School and Wilson Middle School, Ebrahimi finally landed a job at Hoover through word of mouth. 

“My mentors helped me network and kind of get those connections,” Ebrahimi said. 

Ebrahimi explained about how she settled for Hoover. 

Ebrahimi has already become fond of her Seniors. 

“I love it, I can’t imagine it any other way, The Seniors are awesome. You guys are so knowledgeable,” she mentioned enthusiastically.  

Students are welcome to come and talk to Ebrahimi for any reason. She has made sure to make her office a warm and welcoming place for any need. Whether it be for a mental break, discussing grades, social issues, you name it, her door is open.

“Be a listening ear, it’s not our place to judge anyone,” Ebrahimi stated while discussing her approach toward students who struggle academically and/or mentally.

Exploring and putting yourself out there in high school is Ebrahimi’s best advice for her students. She believes making connections and making good impressions is the most important thing. 

Sandoval, the freshman counselor, has always wanted to be in education. 

“I wasn’t sure what type of education,” she said. “At first, I was attending school to be a teacher.”

While she was studying, she worked in a school district.

Seeing the teachers, she felt that their job didn’t consist of helping students as much as she wanted. 

“I was a little discouraged about how teachers can’t really help that many students,” she said. “They can only help the students in their classroom, so I looked towards another path where I can help more kids.”

This is Sandoval’s first year as a counselor, and it’s her first year with high school students. She’s learned that the most crucial part of her job is building a relationship with the students. 

“If you don’t establish that relationship, or that safe space for your students, then you’re not going to be able to assist them,” she said. 

To her, a counselor needs to relate to the students, because they have already been through high school and college.

“The piece of advice that I would give to my freshman,” Sandoval stated, “is to come see your counselor, and to ask questions, I think most of the time students are intimidated by asking questions because they think it’s dumb, or not the right question to ask.” 

While it’s easy to be left behind because you were too shy or scared to ask a question, she said “if you need help, seek help.”

The way she would approach a student that is suffering from poor mental health is just talking to a student and listening. 

“A lot of the time, students don’t need to hear advice, or what my thoughts are,” she said. “It’s more that they need somebody to listen.”

Sandoval doesn’t like to look at a student’s grades first and ask “why are you failing?” Poor grades can be a result of something going on at home, or here with friends. If a student has poor grades, she talks to them and tries to find out what’s wrong, so she can find them resources.