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Roberts transitions to advise college, career choices for district

Sheila Roberts works as District College and Career Advisor for Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)
Sheila Roberts works as District College and Career Advisor for Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Sheila Roberts has transitioned from Bob Jones High School’s college/career advisor to a new position with similar work at the district level.

As district college/career advisor at the Central Office, Roberts will work more behind the scenes to relay pertinent information to advisors at Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools.

Later in 2015, she plans to retire. “With over 20 years of experience in the field, I’ve built relationships with colleges and scholarship organizations that I plan to pass along before I leave,” Robert said.

From many thousands she has counseled, Roberts especially remembers one student in foster care who was eligible for a Pell Grant, which would have covered junior college. However, he insisted on going to a four-year university.

Earning his own money as an entrepreneur, the student created rap CDs for $2 and sold them for $5. To continue his business, he thought he had to attend college near a large city. He pursued scholarships to the University of Alabama.

Now at UA, the student is selling souvenir hats and made $600 at the first football game. “I didn’t worry about him anymore,” Roberts said about their last conversation.

Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University, master’s degree in counseling at the University of North Alabama, education specialist status at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and AA Administrative Certificate at UA.

She established elementary guidance for Athens City Schools and transferred to Decatur High School, where she worked 10 years. She has worked at Bob Jones for 12 years.

To bolster her training, Roberts found educational programs with the National Association of College Admission Counseling, its regional affiliate and College Board as excellent resources.

After retirement, Roberts will continue in college/career advising after taking a break “so I won’t invest 24/7 in my personal career. What I’ll miss the most is the great number of students and parents in Madison. Some students have returned to share their journey to college and careers. I wish I could see them all again.”

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