Prep alumni return to discuss life after high school

Prep alumni return to discuss life after high school
March 22
04:00 2018

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Members of the Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy (WSPA) Alumni Association returned to their alma mater last week to sit down with the Class of 2018 to discuss life after high school. During an open forum held in the library, students had the opportunity to discuss all aspects of college life; from picking the right schedule to party life and everything in between.

Abriana Kimbrough, president of the WSPA Alumni Association started the college forum in 2015 to provide first generation college students with information she wish she had when she started college at Wake Forest in 2011. Kimbrough said the purpose of the event is to connect the graduating class with resources to be successful in college and beyond.

She said, “When I sat in your shoes back in 2011, there wasn’t anybody to come back and say I’m going to be a mentor for you. So I graduated and decided to bring back people to share their experiences and build relationships with current students.”

This year the panel, held on Friday, March 9, featured young professionals who all took different paths after high school. Featured panelists were Chloe Wilborn,  Kwa’Tre Hollingsworth, Benjamin Brantley and Jalen Hatton.

To jumpstart the conversation, Kimbrough asked the panel members how they decided on their majors and what college they would attend. Hollingsworth, who attended Howard University before transferring to UNC-Charlotte, last semester said when he was a freshman he wanted to become a doctor, but after sitting down with a professor, he decided it might not be the best path for him to take.

“My professor told me that to become a doctor I would have to take an entire course on enzymes in medical school and I knew it wasn’t for me,” Hollingsworth said. “So I changed my major to politics second semester.”

Hatton, who is a graduate of N.C. A&T State University, said his experiences led him to become a business owner and entrepreneur. He said, “I started out in finance because I wanted to work for a corporate management firm but then one day I met a guy who said if I wanted to be an entrepreneur I should go the tech route.”

Hatton said the next week, K4Connect, a software company based in Raleigh offered him a job. He said he worked at the company for 10 months then ventured out on his own.

Panelists also discussed the importance of applying for scholarships, time management, and being responsible. Several times panelists also encouraged students to make connections with classmates and professors.  To wrap up the open discussion, Kimbrough told students, “You are creating the experiences you want for your lives, so you have to make some decisions.”

She continued, “You create your experiences by the decisions you make, and it’s all up to you. It’s not going to be easy but you have a network we are here for you.”

The WSPA Alumni Association was the vision of Principal Reggie Hunt, who joined the Phoenix Family last summer. In less than a year, the Alumni Association has already made its presence felt among current students at WSPA. Aside from the college forum, the WSPA Alumni Association has also planned a senior cookout for seniors and a basketball tournament to raise funds for scholarships. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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