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I attribute much of my academic success to having had support throughout my high school and college years. Though few college-going resources were readily available, my high school taught me to dream big and to work hard for that dream, both inside and outside of the classroom. This mentality helped me advance and excel in my postsecondary studies. When I became the first college adviser at Millington Senior High School, I drew from my own experience to instill a supportive, college-going culture. It’s helpful that the students, teachers, and staff have welcomed me with open arms, which has made my role immensely easier. Serving as the first college adviser in the Millington community has been both an exciting challenge and a fulfilling opportunity.

The first day of school, which is usually full of smiles and “hellos,” was idle and quiet. I was there to work with students and all of the students were working from home due to the pandemic. However, my eagerness to become acquainted with the seniors led me to try any possible mode of communication. After many emails, a couple of social media accounts, a complete introduction video, and several corny jokes later, my calendar started to fill. Little by little, I began meeting with the senior class of 2021, and often their parents as well. I could almost feel their relief as I began answering questions about colleges, applications, and costs of attendance. Not only did we get the opportunity to discuss the first steps of the college-going process, but it also allowed me to take the first steps toward becoming a true Millington Cardinal. As the appointments took place, I learned about the town, the people, and what makes the community special. Tapping into the community is how I started to lay the foundation for creating a strong, college-going culture. Before I knew it, I was conducting presentations in classrooms, hosting college visits in the library, getting donations from local businesses and collaborating with the school as a whole. I was in it for the long run.

Since that first day of school, the year has certainly been a rollercoaster. Switching between face-to-face and virtual learning, rescheduling college visits due to last-minute conflicts, and trying to interact with a multitude of students has kept me on my toes. However, my excitement for this position was prompted by the opportunity to grow from the ground up. So, as I prepare for a new calendar year, I intend to keep growing a college-going culture one branch at a time. Meeting with students is one of my favorite adviser responsibilities, so maintaining consistency with those conversations is high on my list of priorities. I would love to organize events in the future and interact more with the Millington community when it’s safe to do so. After all, you can’t spell “community” without “unity.” My ultimate goal for the new year is to instill values of self confidence and vision among the graduating seniors so they have the enthusiasm to excel in whatever it is they want to accomplish. My role as an AdviseMI adviser is to support the students in pursuit of their dreams, but it is ultimately the students who prove those dreams are possible.