AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) Monique Sheppard spent the first part of her career as a teacher. Now she’s changing lives as a school counselor.

“Because it’s in me to help others,” Sheppard says. “That’s who I am. It’s a part of me, everday. That’s my daily mission, to help someone.”

And she helps her Glenn Hills students reach new heights.

“I try to build their self esteem, let them know they can do anything they choose to do. And that there’s more to life outside of Glenn Hills, outside of Augusta. If that’s what you want to do, then do it and make sure you’re the best at it.”

Ms. Sheppard has been counseling long enough to see some impressive results.

“I have some students who have earned their doctorate degrees. I have students who are personal trainers. Students who can do anything they want to, and they’re doing great at it.”

But Monique Sheppard will tell you she cannot do this alone. Parents, grandparents and caregivers all play an extremely important role.

“Be there to encourage them and let them know, even if you are not successful at something the first time you do it, don’t ever give up,” she says. “The world is yours. What you want can be yours, you just have to work for it. And let them know I’m here for you, whatever it is. And that my love is unconditional.”