Former WSPA students return to their alma mater to discuss college

Former WSPA students return to their alma mater to discuss college
December 24
00:00 2015
Deonica Reid speaks as other panelists look on.

By Tevin Stinson 

The Chronicle

A number of former students from Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy recently returned to their alma mater bearing a gift that will continue to give: knowledge.

During an open panel discussion Wednesday, Dec. 16 alumnae provided vital information to the graduating senior class on the process of transitioning from a high school senior to college freshman.

Transitioning from high school to college can have a tough learning curve. When Abriana Kimbrough arrived on the campus of Wake Forest in the fall of 2011, she had to learn these lessons on the fly.

“Like many of the students here, when I started at Wake I was a first generation college student who didn’t know what to expect,” said Kimbrough. “After graduating this past spring, I felt it was important to come back and give some type of advice to the seniors, especially considering this is a low-income area.”

After presenting her idea of the panel discussion to administrators, guidance counselor Rhonda Scott encouraged the group of professionals and college students to “keep it real” with the students.

“When Abriana approached me with the idea, I knew it was a great opportunity for our students to learn about college and ask any questions they may have,” Scott said.

“I wanted them to be open with the students so they will have some type of idea of what to expect when they step onto a college campus next year.”

During the discussion graduates and current students from a number of colleges and universities answered questions about applying to college, dorm life, study habits, dealing with professors, time management, financial aid, and even the college social scene.

Krishawn Noble encouraged the students to apply early and often to increase their chances of being accepted. Noble also said students should keep their options open and research schools before applying.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” he said. “You have to really research these schools. You’re going to be spending the next four or five years at the college or university you choose, so you want to make sure it’s a place you like. “You have to have a plan or you’re going to be there a lot longer than you would like to be.”

Another topic that seemed to catch the attention of many of the seniors was playing sports at the collegiate level.

Deonica Reid who runs track at Campbell University said sports in college are on a different level than high school. She mentioned being an athlete is like having a full-time job.

“There are a lot more expectations put on us because we are athletes,” she said. “As a student-athlete, I have learned that time management is very important, balancing practice, going to class, and studying at times can be overwhelming. That’s why taking advantage of free time is very important.”

Following the open panel discussion, a number of seniors said that thanks to the panel, they feel they are more prepared for college and know a little more about what to expect.

“I really enjoyed this event today,” said Tony Ingram. “It was very well put together and they were very honest.”

Ingram plans to attend North Carolina Central University where he plans to major in social work. He said he learned a lot from the panel discussion, like how to juggle school and social activities. 

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