By Dianne de Guzman
On a Monday night, a large group of local students gathered in the library at Jesse Bethel High School to listen to staff members of the Willie B. Adkins Scholars program talk about the history and the requirements needed.
The scene is familiar to many of those working with the group as adults. Now in its 30th year, a number of those helping the new group of students prepare for high school graduation, college applications and test prep were former students of the program.
“I can say that definitely because it’s a very community-oriented program, it has had a full-circle effect for me,” said Stephanie Bowens, a current instructor with the program. “…I got a scholarship through this program, so it helped fund my college education and now I’m able to give back to students and help them find their way. Volunteering in this program (also) helped me reach my own career goals of working in education.”