LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Rachel Luks Petraska

Position: School Counselor
School: Shelburne Community School
School District: Champlain Valley School District
City, State: Shelburne, VT

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Rachel Luks Petraska was nominated by the Vermont School Counselor Association.

Ms. Luks Petraska was named the Vermont School Counselor of the Year.  She supports youth and families experiencing homelessness. As the building-based homeless coordinator for her school, she works tirelessly to identify and support families who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. The town where her school is located is home to a short and long-term shelter that often serves families with young children. When the program began, Ms. Luks Petraska quickly reached out to the agencies that serve the program to make a connection and help inform them of how to support families to get their children in school. She works closely with families, often off-hours and over the weekend, to find them transportation to school each day.

"I am always amazed by her ability to quickly and creatively find what a family needs, whether that is bus passes, school supplies, translators, or a ride to a meeting," said her nominator. "She is a model for her colleagues in going above and beyond."