Earlier this year, Cheryl Adkins joined the YouthQuest team as Program Director. In her new role, Adkins oversees the YouthQuest afterschool program, manages over 110 employees and serves as the primary contact with schools and community partners.
Adkins is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and brings 22 years of experience as a school administrator to this role. She is a strong advocate for Flint and believes that with support, like that given through YouthQuest, Flint students can accomplish anything.
Afterschool Download recently sat down with Adkins and talked with her about her new role.
What excites you most about your new role?
Working with students and the people who impact them. Most kids don’t have much to do after school unless they are in a program like YouthQuest. Our YouthQuest team members are dedicated to the students – it is apparent in the work they do. It is great for these kids to have someone there for them at the end of the day to help them learn and grow.
What experience do you bring to this position?
Previously, I worked as both a middle school and high school principal. I have worked with youth my entire life. I have a strong belief that if we don’t give everything we can to students, we do a disservice to ourselves. When we give to students, they grow up and develop into people who give back to the City of Flint. I am a product of Flint schools and want to use my experience to give back to current students.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Providing additional support to YouthQuest staff and working with site team leaders to make our program one of the best programs in the nation. My goal is for YouthQuest to be a nationally recognized program that puts Flint in a positive light.
What upcoming events should parents put on their calendars?
Our annual ArtQuest will be held April 24 – 26. It is a wonderful way for kids to demonstrate their creative side and show off their talents. We have a strong focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). In addition, we add an “A” to STEM and make it STEAM, with the A representing the Arts.
We also have YQ, Inc. on May 5 at the Flint Farmers’ Market. The event aims to foster entrepreneurs of tomorrow, and students are currently developing items that they will sell during the event.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.