Brahma finds a new role


DBHS intervention counselor Lauren Osajima-Baird helps students under the 504 plan and aims for their success in their academic classes.

Catherine Zhang, Feature Editor

Wanting a change in her daily teaching career, former Diamond Bar High School teacher Lauren Osajima-Baird stepped up as the newly appointed Intervention Counselor this school year.

As the Intervention Counselor, Osajima-Baird is in charge of helping students who are under a 504 Plan, a section  in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that requires  schools to meet the academic needs of disabled students just as adequately as non-disabled pupils.

On a daily basis, Osajima-Baird meets with students serviced under the 504 Plan and their parents in the front office. However, these meetings are often determined the day it occurs.

In addition, her other duties consist of communicating with teachers of the 504 pupils and checking up on students whom the GLCs refer to her.

Due to the unpredictability of her position, Osajima-Baird is often left wondering what her daily schedule will consist of.

“I never know when or what I’m going to be meeting so I feel like I’m all over the place. I can sit down and start working on paperwork, then a kid will come in here. We will then start talking for like a hour,” Osajima-Baird said.

Also, Osajima-Baird counsels any student who wants to vent about any emotional or academic issues, which is similar to the responsibilities of GLCs. However, she can help any student as she is not limited to just a specific grade level like the GLCs. In addition, she doesn’t handle disciplinary issues like the GLCs do.

Prior to her change in position, Osajima-Baird served as an English teacher for around  11 years, teaching Pathways English and Expository English for seniors.

“It was a shock at first, just being by myself as opposed to being with a class. It was difficult at first and a weird transition, but I’m starting to understand this job and develop  relationships  with the kids, so I’m loving it now,” Osajima-Baird said.

Outside of her counseling, Osajima-Baird has been the advisor for Muslim Student Association for about ten years.

Although she hopes to be involved in the possible revival of Gay Straight Alliance, a club once active on campus, she views advising difficult due to her fickle daily schedule.

Despite her dynamic schedule, Osajima-Baird considers her position a refreshing change in life.

“I love developing one-on-one relationships with my students and I love the idea that kids here can come to me if they need to. My door is always open for anyone,” Osajima-Baird said.