Counselors interact with students hundreds of times each day and never know which interactions will resonate most. Fabion Vicks shares one of these moments that ended up being a lasting memory for him.
This Week's Storyteller
Fabion Vicks is the 8th Grade Counselor at Dutchtown Middle School. Originally from Cairo, Georgia, Fabion has lived in California, Virginia, Atlanta, and Macon, Georgia and graduated from Liberty University with a Masters of Education in School Counseling. This is his sixth year in counseling and he says he enjoys the ebbs and flow of his job. His podcast is called The Counselor’s Connection with Fabion Vicks.
See Mr. Vicks in action below!
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Note: Below is a rough transcription. It may be updated for accuracy and readability.
Hello, hello! Welcome to this week’s Encouraging Words for School Counselors. I’m Matt Fleck with Inspire Success. A quick thanks to all of you who have subscribed to the podcast, who continue to listen each week or off and on, and also to all of you who have shared your stories with us. We truly appreciate ALL of you.
This week, we travel to Georgia — Hampton, Georgia specifically — to hear from Fabion Vicks who is a middle school counselor at Dutchtown Middle School. He remembers an interaction with a student he knew well. She was a high flyer, doing well in school, popular, but she had a secret.
One day, she came to me and said, I don’t want to be in my house anymore. And I asked her why? Cause I’m tired of my mom abusing me and beating me. So I told her, I don’t want you to tell her. I don’t want you to tell them all, like for one thing, anything you tell to me, I forgot to report it because, you know, I gotta make sure you’re safe and whoever else in the household, that’s a minor, gotta be safe. So I report it to our social worker and the social worker worked with DCS and was able to have a student removed. Fast forward five months where she got withdrawn, of course, and put in a foster home. Prosecutor, five months later, she actually emailed me and said, thank you, Mr. Vicks, you saved my life. I’m glad you said something because I don’t know if I would have been able to be there longer.
You don’t often know what kind of impact you’re having on students, how many times students benefit from just having someone to talk with, an advocate who they know is on their side.
I hate that she was withdrawn, but I was glad that she was withdrawing. You know, because we don’t want students in situations where they’re not safe. And our main job is not to make sure that they are passing all their classes or they know about colleges and FAFSA and all the other stuff they need to make sure they’re safe before they do any of that. Other stuff,
Student safety, especially during this pandemic, has been the subject of heated debates by individuals on both sides. But no matter what side you’re on, Fabion says counselors will continue to be there – each day – working to help students who have struggled with learning loss simply because Covid changed the playing field.
We knew coming into this year, it’s going to be a whole lot of social, emotional things that we gotta handle. Uh, academics were going to be, students will be two years off anyway, because they weren’t in person, no matter how much remediation our MTSS or whatever money you throw at it, the kid’s going to be two years off anyway. So that’s something we just have to fight through. Just love on the kids, just meet them, where they at walk them to where they are to a point where they, we going, let him let the hand go and push them, push them on, but move on to like high school for me. And so I’m at as an eighth grader, what is our job? We don’t do it for money. We do it for making sure our kids are prepared.
I believe part of the reason this story resonates with Fabion is because of the note he received from the student, thanking him for – in effect – saving her life. And I’m betting YOU have a note from a former student or parent that is equally meaningful to YOU.
During the month of November, we’re featuring stories from our listeners about notes like these in a series we’re calling Sharing Thanks. If we select your story, we’ll share thanks BACK to you with a $10 Amazon gift card and a little surprise.
So drop us a short email about the note that is most meaningful to you and tell us why at firstname.lastname@example.org OR go directly to our online soundbooth and share your story there (save the typing) at inspiresuccess.org/soundbooth.
Speaking of thanks, thanks for listening. And have a great week.