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Adviser, Stories 3 min

Empowering Her Students

Amanda Bunch, Contributing Writer

By Amanda Bunch, Contributing Writer

For Chelsea Vickers, a second-year College Advising Corps adviser at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, nothing is more rewarding than having her students share with her their acceptance letters and then watching as they excitedly pursue their postsecondary education goals.

Chelsea, who grew up in Waxhaw, North Carolina, knows firsthand the challenges confronting many of her low-wealth, first-generation college-going, and underrepresented students.

“I went to a predominantly white high school where I was a minority,” she says. “There were few students or staff members to connect with. Although my school had a guidance counselor, no one helped me decide on a college or navigate the college application process. Now, as a near-peer college adviser, I meet one-on-one with students to guide them every step of the way as they look for a postsecondary match and fit — be that community college, military service, or a four-year university.”

Looking to the future, Chelsea hopes to influence policies that shape state, local, and federal educational institutions. She wants to do this by creating supports for freshman college students — supports that will follow them throughout their college careers.

I purpose to be for others what I so wanted and needed as a student all those years ago.

Having completed her two years of service as an adviser, Chelsea, like many of her seniors this time of year, has a Decision Day of her own. This fall, she will pursue a master’s degree in education policy and analysis at Harvard University.

“Serving as a college adviser has illuminated the inequities that exist in our educational systems,” she says. “I hope to affect change and to advocate for more inclusion. I purpose to be for others what I so wanted and needed as a student all those years ago.”

If you are a recent or soon-to-be college graduate and are interested in learning more about College Advising Corps opportunities, visit Become An Adviser. To support Chelsea and our more than 800 advisers dedicated to empowering students to pursue their dream for higher education, please visit Decision Day 2022.