Poverty and low socioeconomic status (SES) in America negatively affect students in elementary, middle, and high school as they are still developing. It is crucial that school counselors and other helping professionals are aware of how to best support these students so they can achieve their highest as social support has been shown to be a protective factor for low SES in school. It is essential that school counselors and other staff in schools have effective training surrounding poverty and that they recognize how their social class affects their views and beliefs surrounding poverty and analyze those beliefs and practices. This would result in students who are better supported, succeeding as high as their middle-high SES peers, and staff who are better trained to understand issues faced by students experiencing poverty. This review discusses how school counselors can create equity and build resilience in at-risk students who live in low SES households by providing social support, recognizing privilege, receiving education, acknowledging negative implicit bias, and increasing experiences surrounding poverty.

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Paper

Degree Name

Masters of Science in School Counseling


Counselor Education - Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Anquinetta Calhoun


Winona, MN


Keywords: poverty, low SES, school counselors, adolescents, youth, achievement, social support



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