New Project Success Specialist Propels Students Forward

Project+Success+specialist+Gil+Carey+organizes+his+schedule+of+student+meetings+after+school.+Carey+constantly+sorts+through+new+appointments+and+emails+in+order+to+make+room+for+several+sessions+with+students+throughout+the+day+during+breaks%2C+lunches+and+before+school.

Akshay Raj

Project Success specialist Gil Carey organizes his schedule of student meetings after school. Carey constantly sorts through new appointments and emails in order to make room for several sessions with students throughout the day during breaks, lunches and before school.

Whether he is sifting through student appointments at the back of the counseling office or out on campus talking students through their stress, Portola High’s new Project Success specialist Gil Carey can be found all day helping students through their busy days and hidden troubles.

“Project Success is an extension of the counselors’ office,” Carey said. “If there are students that may need some support in social skills, maybe anger, stress management, developing, maintaining or even terminating relationships… that’s where Project Success comes into play.”

I have a counseling degree as well, a master’s in school counseling, and truly for me, my passion is connecting with students, especially here at Portola, and providing that assistance.”

— Gil Carey

To participate in Project Success, students can email Carey or visit the counseling office to set up an appointment for small group counseling. Services include goal setting, conflict resolution, healthy relationships, developing self-control and dealing with loss or major life transitions.

“To me, it’s a great opportunity to help students,” Carey said. “I have a counseling degree as well, a master’s in school counseling, and truly for me, my passion is connecting with students, especially here at Portola, and providing that assistance.” 

With seven in 10 teens reporting struggles with mental health since the start of the pandemic, according to the Harris Poll, several new problems arise for students in the COVID era when it comes to balancing schoolwork and mental well-being.

There’s a lot of stuff building up on students right now.”

— Gil Carey

“I have approximately 30 students that I work with, and that number is growing quite fast,” Carey said. “There’s a lot of stuff building up on students right now.”

As a retired U.S. Navy veteran and father of four, Carey traces his enthusiasm for providing support back to his time in the Navy.

“I’m 20 years retired from the Navy, and one of the passions I developed in the Navy was helping service members out, kind of mentoring them and guiding them,” Carey said.

No matter what new challenges come up, students can count on the help of Carey and Project Success to power through the setbacks of a pandemic-stricken year.