ACA Institute for Leadership Training members on Capitol Hill.
Counselors for Social Justice President Rhonda Bryant and a fellow Institute attendee pose by the Washington Monument.

More than 100 of the American Counseling Association’s branch, region, and division leaders and emerging leaders convened in Alexandria, Va., to learn what it means to be a leader in a changing society and receive updates on the latest issues impacting the counseling profession at the fourth annual ACA Summer Institute for Leadership Training. The institute, which was held July 25-28, allowed leaders from across the United States (including Puerto Rico) to get to know one another, attend presentations to help enhance their leadership skills, and spend the day on Capitol Hill visiting with elected officials and lobbying for causes important to counselors. Many leaders walked away from the experience looking to be more proactive in their home states.

“It was wonderful and surreal,” says Oscar Sida, a counselor from Las Vegas who attended the institute for the first time. “I want to do more now.”

An ACA member with keynote speaker astronaut Mike Mullane.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at