At 80-years-old, Joseph Monte is a master at connecting with the students at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Md.
He gently guides them along the path to college.
“The main role of a counselor is to be a beacon of hope,” he says.
And any issue they need help with, Monte is there for them, even spearheading a fundraising effort for a student with medical needs.
Before Monte became a school counselor, he was studying to be a Catholic priest. Monte says that training helped him when he changed course and took a job at Albert Einstein in 1962 to work with teenagers.
“(I was) a barrel of energy and with all that energy I have found that my health is good and I attribute it to everyday dealing with teenagers,” he says.
But after half a century, Monte is retiring. It’s something he never imagined.
“He will be missed very, very much because he doesn't just help kids, he helps people,” says principal Jim Fernandez. “He helps alumns, staff members and he comes to us when he knows there is a family in need and what he does for these kids when it comes to college admissions is unbelievable.”
Monte says there's nothing he will miss more than the students he loves so much.