Advising Corps turns stepstones to milestones

An airplane flight. A public address to more than 700 people. Meeting her city’s mayor and other public officials.

Traveling and being away from home on her own. Representing her hometown and state on a national stage. Completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Filling out college applications. Touring potential schools.

Becoming a Tar Heel.

What do these things have in common? They are Kaysha Lampkins’ milestones from the past year. One of nearly 4,000 freshmen to enter the UNC Class of 2015, the Eden, N.C., resident is quick to credit Brian Woodard, the Carolina College Advising Corps (CCAC) adviser at John Motley Morehead High School, with giving her the tools and self confidence to reach these milestones and achieve her ultimate goal: a UNC degree. CCAC is an arm of the National College Advising Corps, headquartered at UNC.

“When I was thinking about going to college, I didn’t think I had much of a chance to get in to UNC,” Lampkins said. “Carolina was my ‘reach’ school, but Brian encouraged me to make that reach, helped me put together a good application package I could be proud of and guided me through applying for financial aid and scholarships. I feel sure I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for all his hard work.”

Woodard didn’t quite see it that way. “I was fortunate to work with Kaysha for two years while I was a CCAC adviser at Morehead [in Rockingham County, N.C.],” he said. “Kaysha did the academic work, but lacked the self confidence to tackle what she considered a monumental task on her own. I told her she had as great a chance as anyone of getting accepted to UNC but that she would never know unless she tried. I was glad I could help her get there.”

Lampkins said she really couldn’t believe it when her acceptance came and she learned she’d been chosen as a Carolina Covenant Scholar as well. “I was blown away,” she said. “I was going to my top school, and with the Covenant Scholarship, I would be able to focus on academics and worry less about finances. All the pieces just seemed to be fitting into place.”

Woodard knows that feeling, as he also “reached” for his Carolina degree.

Published January 2, 2012.