Desktop News | March 2023
Parker-Adams is a learning community program at The University of Alabama designed to support first-year students in their academic and personal success during college. It offers tailored courses to help students prepare for college life and beyond, including professionalism, resume building and mock interviews. The program’s emphasis on academic achievement, leadership opportunities, service learning, career preparation and networking has been a game-changer for many students, including Kila Stephens and Lauren Thompson, two College of Arts and Sciences students who found success and growth through the program.
Kila Stephens, a student from out-of-state, discovered a sense of community and belonging when she joined Parker-Adams. Reflecting on her experience, she realized how valuable the skills she gained were. The program not only taught her teamworking and professionalism but also time management skills, which proved to be vital. Through the program, she developed better study habits, which continued to benefit her throughout her academic journey. As she looks back on her experience, Stephens feels that Parker-Adams played a significant role in her personal and professional growth.
“Parker-Adams challenged me to come out of my comfort zone and grow,” said Stephens. “Especially with professionalism skills, because I didn’t realize how much I needed to know when I came to college.”
In her second year, Stephens became a fellow and mentored new students while shouldering additional responsibilities of Program Chair, such as heading classes, study halls and organizing events. She realized that Parker-Adams was much more than just a way to make friends and find a sense of community, instead, it was a path to success and personal growth
Lauren Thompson joined Parker-Adams to enhance her interpersonal skills and foster long-term relationships.
“I am so blessed to be a part of Parker-Adams,” said Thompson. “Because if I hadn’t, I would have just sat in my dorm and my life would be completely different.”
The program emphasizes promoting healthy relationships, encouraging open communication and prioritizing mental health which was beneficial for her.
As a fellow, Thompson was deeply committed to the resources, opportunities and relationships that Parker-Adams offers to students and passionately advocated for their importance to first-year participants. Her impact and dedication to the program are further exemplified through her brother, who began as a first-year student and later became a fellow like her, carrying on the Thompson legacy in Parker-Adams.
Stephens and Thompson both emphasized the importance of mentorship that extends beyond a student’s college years, and one mentor who they felt exemplifies this was Undre Phillips. As the director of Parker-Adams and first-year initiatives, Phillips was an essential mentor to all Parker-Adams students.
“He not only checked in on you because it was his job but because he wants to make sure you’re doing well.” said Thompson.
Phillips was deeply committed to helping his students achieve success, and this was reflected in his willingness to provide guidance and support in a range of areas. From helping students secure internships and other career-building opportunities to crafting compelling letters of recommendation, he went above and beyond to ensure that his students had the tools and resources they needed to succeed both academically and professionally.
Both Stephens and Thompson spoke highly of their experiences in the program. They both noted that the program provided them with valuable time management and study tools that they continue to use to this day. The program helped them form lasting friendships and meaningful mentorships that positively impacted their personal and professional lives. Thompson and Stephens encourage future participants to take advantage of the program and dive into the experience, which they describe as truly transformative.
To learn more about the program and its benefits, visit https://parkeradams.as.ua.edu/.