New upper school counselor Blake Mayes is focused on helping students and assisting people with “trying to find their passions”.
Mayes is a native Minnesotan with roots in Minneapolis. He went to Eagan high school and did PSEO before college. In addition, Mayes attended North Central University in downtown Minneapolis for his undergrad degree and majored in communication arts journalism. He then got his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin River Falls in Science in Education in counseling.
Before working at MA, Mayes worked three to four years as a deaf-blind intervener, which means he worked with students who had both hearing and vision loss. His interest in counseling sparked while working in an elementary school in Lakeville, MN with students who had vision loss. Mayes said,
“There was a lot of stuff that happened in that classroom that I was in. There were some kids who were going through a lot of traumatic experiences, and I just realized that I really wanted to be in a school, helping out, working with students, and getting to know them”.
This was an interesting turn for Mayes because he never thought he would work in a school and looked past it because many members of his family worked in the school system, but ended up finding a lot of happiness and joy in it. Additionally, he said
“I really like working with students and helping people find their passions”.
Mayes is fervent about having vibrant interactions with students, and connecting on a deeper level. Furthermore, Mayes has been married for a little over five years and has a baby girl that just turned one.
When asked what the hardest thing about his position as a counselor was, he said “when somebody’s having a hard day and we talk about it and sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes things are just tough. And you know, I have those days in situations too and sometimes life is just tough. And you know, as much as we know that God is there with us. And that’s important to remember. Sometimes it doesn’t make it easier. So sitting in those moments of difficulty can be challenging”.
He has always believed in God, but started to take his faith journey seriously when he was at a camp the summer before 10th grade and saw his peers living happily and stability with God on their side. Mayes faithful roots in god help keep life grounded when times are tough.
On another note, an interesting fact about Mayes is that his first language is sign language (ASL).
Blake Mayes is enthusiastic and driven to get in touch and make deep connections with students and staff in the Minnehaha community; and is always open to people coming by his office to take some candy.