by Emaleigh Fleeman
After graduating from the University of Georgia in 2022, Gabriel Smallwood joined GCAC to serve as a college adviser at Clarke Central High School in Athens.
Building off the skills he learned in college, Gabriel has spent the school year creating trusting relationships with the seniors. To date, he has met with over 95% of the senior class to provide individualized college and career advising sessions. In addition to his one-on-one advising appointments, Gabriel has hosted a variety of events to help students and families complete financial aid forms.
While he is excelling in the postsecondary planning space, Gabriel also takes the time to support other school events and, to the delight of the students, even danced at the school’s spring pep rally.
This month, the faculty at Clarke Central honored Gabriel’s hard work by presenting him with the award, "Developer of Students’ Individual Talents." The description for the award states, "Developer of Students' Individual Talents is awarded to a person who draws out the best in students, assisting them in self-discovery and growth." He was nominated by Erin Horton, an English teacher.
Regarding Gabriel’s work, Erin noted, "He [Gabriel] has been so diligent in offering ongoing opportunities and resources for students to prepare them for college and otherwise. His monthly updates (as well as his calendars for college meets) have been so helpful and offer great insight into student interests around post-high school goals. This, plus his continuous eagerness to learn from and participate in classroom spaces, makes him easily one of the best college advisers I’ve worked with!"
According to Gabriel, when he found out he had been selected he was, “...completely flabbergasted to be chosen for an award as special as this, and just to be nominated at all”. We are so proud of what Gabriel has accomplished and look forward to what he will do next year as a second-year college adviser.