My Experience with the Detroit Promise: An Adviser’s Reflection

AdviseMI is an initiative of the Michigan College Access Network that works with AmeriCorps to place recent college graduates in Michigan high schools with low college-going rates. The advisers are trained to help students navigate the complex college exploration process, retake college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match/fit, complete the FAFSA, secure financial aid, and matriculate to college.

Juanita Janee’ Gool is a first-year adviser who serves at Martin Luther King Jr. Sr. High School in Detroit.

As a social work major at Wayne State University, I completed my field placement with the Detroit Promise. I was able to get the experience of working with freshman first-generation college students. The connections with the students were so surreal because I am a first generation myself and I could remember how I felt during my first year in community college. As a student, I had never heard about the Detroit Promise as a resource. I remember the feeling of not knowing what to do next and when I met with my advisers I found that I didn’t receive real assistance or answers to my questions, and I had no real connection the staff at my institution. Navigating through community college before transferring on my own was a real challenge for me, but dedication, determination, and the driven spirit is what carried me through. Through that experience, I told myself that if I was ever in the position to help someone get through what I been through, I would jump at that chance!

When the opportunity presented itself to work with a familiar population, I knew there would be an instant connection. The Detroit Promise gave me a different deeper nuance. The ability to learn from some of the best Promise Path Coaches, staff, peers, and field liaison helped create who I am today. All of the knowledge from everyone has assisted me in becoming more successful in my current position. During my college internship, I had the experience of serving students at the beginning stages of college. Now I serve them before they even hit those doors and it is really amazing and truly rewarding. Bridging the gap is a part of my purpose in life. Having someone in your life that you can connect with based on relatable experiences helps create a better support bond. I have learned a great deal of knowledge from college, the Detroit Promise and AdviseMI. Everything intertwines, which is great for me and those who I serve.

One of the most valuable things I have learned is networking. Networking and creating working bonds that come together like none other that can really expose and be more effective for those who I serve. The work I do would not be possible without others. My only challenge that I face and will always face is the dismay of not knowing. I seem to be the type of person who wants to know and pencil in a plan for it all. Despite a lack of knowledge, being a team player, adjustable, understanding, and empathetic has helped me conquer every time.

Author: Juanita Janee’ Gool
Posted: May 28, 2019

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