INTRODUCING… counselor Jennifer Yu


Carol Xu

Yu has been working at Amador since 2017, and her office door always stays open for students to come in.

The door to health and wellness counselor Jennifer Yu’s office is always open, right behind a sign saying “It’s always a beautiful day here at Amador.”  Colorful stickers cover her laptop and water bottle, and the space is bright and comfortable. Yu looks up from her desk and smiles. 

“How can I help you?”

Yu has been working at Amador since 2017 and has thoroughly enjoyed her time here. However, she never knew she would one day become a support counselor. 

During her first year in college, she planned to pursue a chemistry major and aspired to be a forensic scientist. She soon realized that forensics wasn’t the best for her. She couldn’t imagine herself working in a lab for the rest of her life. 

After taking a psychology class, she decided to switch her major to psychology to pursue what she loved, as she grew passionate about all the topics discussed. After interning at several schools around the Bay Area, Yu finally landed a job as the wellness and support counselor at Amador. 

“I took (being a support counselor) as a challenge because it was a unique role  and I liked the idea of supporting students with their social-emotional needs. Amador gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and pursue something very important,” said Yu. 

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Yu is no stranger to the academic pressure put on the students here. Based on her previous experience, she believes the learning environment has gotten more competitive in recent years, contributing to heavy student burnout at Amador.  

“There’s this notion that you constantly have to be productive. You have to be working towards something and keep going, and that sends a very unhealthy message and it leads to burnout. We’re not even able to identify why we’re feeling like this. Sometimes when I talk to students and bring up the topic of burnout they (start to relate to that). We’re so in the moment that we might not even realize that’s what’s happening to us,” said Yu. 

Yu is very familiar with burnout. As a counselor, she meets students every day and is often busy with the many tasks she handles with the rest of the counseling team. Although she isn’t perfect, she tries her best to set a good example for students as well as for herself. She emphasizes the importance of self reflection and a strong support system. 

“We’re not robots, we’re human. I always like to remind students it’s okay to have feelings and to make mistakes. One of the reasons I love Amador is because I have a lot of support here (from the counseling team). I remember to give myself breaks when I feel burnt out,” said Yu. 

With the school year now in full swing, Yu gets to meet with and help students, usually five to six a day. Between sending emails and finding new counseling resources or helpful links to send to students, she’s always kept on her toes. 

“My favorite thing about counseling is that it’s never boring. There’s always something new, my schedule doesn’t look the same every day and it’s kinda refreshing to have a variety of things to do,” said Yu.