Alexis Jenkins

The new director for the GOALS/GEAR UP program, Alexis Jenkins, hopes to support students just like her as one of the newest members of the Stockton University community. 

As the new director of the GOALS/GEAR UP program at Stockton, I have the honor to impact students from the Atlantic City & Pleasantville Public School Districts in grades 7 through 12 and first-year enrolled college students.

Through this experience, I have learned the importance of collaboration and community. I love the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a family,” and with the GOALS team, we are providing that village for so many students in the Atlantic City & Pleasantville districts.

Like many of the GOALS students, I am a first-generation college student x3. I have gone through my own personal struggles in navigating higher education and wanted to share what I have learned with other students that aspire to attend college. This program is not only important to me, but it is important to my students and the growth of them as holistic individuals.

When I consider college access programs, I always think, What would I want to know as a middle school and high school student considering college?” I often put myself in the student’s shoes, as it allows me to immerse myself in their world. That way I can feel and empathize with their experience from their perspective. My goal is to create a space for them that will ultimately benefit their education experience.

The Jenkins family: Alicia and Alexis with their mom, Bea, in the middle
The Jenkins Family (L-R): Alicia, Bea and Alexis. Photo by Eliza Hunt.

"I want (students) to know that they belong at the table and there is a village of people supporting them and pushing them to succeed." 

In whatever compacity I am in, my hope is to do my best in serving my students. My position as the director of the GOALS/ GEARUP program is not just a job, but it is my assignment. I have been afforded the opportunity to impact a generation of people that need guidance and believe that I possess the tools to navigate my assignment. I truly believe that this is my purpose and calling.

I think that it is important for this population of students to know that they can do whatever they want to do, if they put their mind to it and persist. I want them to know that they belong at the table and there is a village of people supporting them and pushing them to succeed.  

As I conclude, I would like to leave you with my favorite quote,

You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is one of your biggest advantages."
Michelle Obama