The Willie B. Adkins Program

The Willie B. Adkins Program

Danee' Julien

Mr.Willie B. Adkins and his wife Mrs. Maryann Adkins co-founded the Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program in 1986. According to their website, the program was started with the objective “to increase the amount of African Americans enrolling into college.” The program is very successful at helping students to see that going to college is a goal worth pursing. A lot of their former scholars have gone on to be “doctors, lawyers, business professionals, and teachers.”

The success of the program is dependent on the support and connects of its networks. Graduates and alumni of the program provide most of the staff for the newer scholars. The alumni are former scholars who stayed true to the Willie B. Adkins pledge and committed to return and tend to the newer generations of scholars following their footsteps. The alumni provide help with volunteering, guest speaking, mentoring, tutoring, and sponsoring. The original program started off in just Vallejo, California but with all the effort and help they were able to make an expansion. They were able to make a program in Stockton, California that offers the same experiences and opportunities as the Vallejo.

Willie B. Adkins gives their kids many opportunities and activities in order to help them become prepared and motivated for college. The program even requires you to wear a uniform to every meeting in order to create a professional and serious mindset.  In an informational meeting for the program hosted August 21, 2019, they explain that they have kids looking into writing resumes, transcripts, personal essays for college, preparation for SAT/ACT’s, and community service.  According to Chavez junior, Jayla Baltrip, who currently attends the Stockton Program, “We make our college portfolio, visit colleges, and do research on colleges we want to attend or one that interest us.”

When asked what their is to look forward to in the program Jayla explained, “One thing I find exciting is the HBCU college trip … another thing is the last day of the program where you get your certificate, you eat, and you talk about how the program impacted you.”

If students are willing to commit and do their part a HBCU tour is provided at the end of the program. With the help of fundraisers they are able to take the kids to multiple HBCU’s all the way across the country. Going on that trip will not only increase your knowledge but, it is also a good experience to have earned and be able to go through. Those who can’t attend still have the last day to celebrate the accomplishments they have achieved with the program.

Last school year the scholars program met every Wednesday at Stagg High School. For the 2019-20 school year, the program has moved it’s location to Cesar Chavez High School. The first day of Stockton’s program was September 4, 2019 and although that is the first day they will still be allowing you to apply throughout the time the program is running. You have every Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30 to join the Willie B. Adkins brothers and sisters on their journey.