Adkins scholars program provides finical guidance

Applications, financial aid, grants, scholarships, and college. For those who consider themselves to be college-bound, these words are so common that they have probably grown tired of them already.

In March of last year, one of Stockton Unified’s directors introduced Principal Andre Phillips to a program that would help to alleviate some of the stress associated with college and all the things it involves.

“She recommended this program that comes out of Fairfield in the Vallejo County area called the ‘Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program,’” Phillips said. “So I went down there and visited the program for one day and it was an awesome experience.”

Students participating in this program meet once a week to do homework, create a portfolio with all of their grades, certificates, resumes, letters they have written to colleges, and then go on college trips.

“The program was originally put together for African-American students, but it has morphed into more of an open program and what they do is get these kids on track to be ready for college, get scholarships, and instill values within the students,” Phillips said. “That’s their premise.”

Every Wednesday, there are approximately 30 students who show up to become more prepared for their future. One of those 30 students is junior Destiny Allen.

“They help you find different scholarships to apply for, teach you about financial aid and grants, and even give you free SAT prep,” Allen said.

Junior Karis Carter, like Allen, is looking forward to the college visits most. With this program, students have the ability to go on a trip to the college of their choice

“I’m really looking forward to all the college visits because I would love the opportunity to go to Stanford and see what it’s like,” Carter said.

There are no requirements or prerequisites necessary to be involved in the Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program.

“We have to find a way for these kids to connect with something, but with things like sports, you can’t participate unless you have your grades in check but with Willie B. Adkins, you don’t,” Phillips said. “They will continue to work with you and mentor you throughout your high school career regardless of your grades.”

Students who are interested in becoming part of the program may go to their website and submit an application. After being accepted, attend the weekly meetings held on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in The Spot.

I want people to know that it’s more than just showing up once a week and doing homework,” Phillips said. “There’s a lot more going on than that.”