Brooke Adams, a first-generation college graduate with a master’s degree in social work and a passion for working with students from under-resourced communities
I am now recognizing how much it mattered to me to have someone who really watched out for me, cared for me, and ensured that I was accountable.
“I had a step grandfather who was my knight in shining armor: my Poppa. He was a phenomenal guy. I grew up in a very chaotic household, we moved a lot, and I was the oldest of all of my siblings, so I had a lot of responsibilities. When I was with him, I didn’t have [any] responsibilities, [and] I didn’t have to make decisions; I could be a child. As an adult, I am now recognizing how much that benefited my mental health and how much it really mattered to me to have someone who really watched out for me, cared for me, and ensured that I was accountable. He held me to a really high level without pressure. I would meet his friends at the feed store – he lived in the country – and they’d say, ‘Oh, you’re Brooke! I heard about your grades last year!’ I always knew he was proud of me and wanted me to do my best, but also no matter what I did, he would love me, unconditionally. I strive for that type of love.”