HFC welcomes Dorea Wilson, who encourages students to aim high
HFC Academic Advisor Dorea (pronounced “Dor-ee-ay”) Wilson won’t allow students to short-change themselves.
“The Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo said it best (paraphrasing): ‘The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it,’” said Wilson, of Detroit. “Students are unsure of themselves and might think small when they shouldn’t. They’re scared. I get it. I’ve been there. They need to aim high and not be afraid. If they can imagine it, they can achieve it, but they have to do the work. There’s no way around it.”
A desire to give back to young people
A Detroit native, Wilson is the sixth of 11 children. He is an alumnus of Crockett Technical High School in Detroit, where he participated in the journalism club. He was also a member of the basketball team for three years and served as a captain his final year.
After graduation, Wilson completed general education coursework at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, NH and the Wayne County Community College District. Transferring to Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA – which he attended on a basketball scholarship – Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration with a minor in general business administration.
“At first, I wanted to be a coach to give back to youth, helping out in the ways I know I can,” recalled Wilson. “When I was right out of Reinhardt, coaching opportunities were not common.”
From 2019-23, Wilson worked as a youth counselor and mentor at ATS Educational Services in Oak Park.
“I took a job at ATS, which works with many different school districts in the Metro Detroit area, for the same reason I wanted to go into coaching: It was a way to give back to young people and be helpful, inspiring, and make an impact on them,” he said.
“A much-appreciated level of joy and enthusiasm”
Wilson joined HFC in July. He was one of six new academic advisors who started at the same time. He reports to HFC Interim Director of Academic Advising Jennifer Markin.
“Dorea previously supported students’ college goals from the high school side. We’re excited to have him switch over to HFC!” said Markin. “He brings a much-appreciated level of joy and enthusiasm to his work with students and the HFC community.”
Wilson’ duties include helping students:
- Choose the right classes
- Create a class schedule that works for them and their commitments outside of HFC
- Find out which academic or trade programs are the right fit for them
- Discuss the most optimal transfer opportunities at the appropriate 4-year college or university
Working through feelings of discouragement
“I really enjoy helping students, especially those who are overwhelmed and discouraged,” explained Wilson. “I assist them on getting on the right course and assuage their fears as much as I can. They smile and say things like, ‘You really helped me overcome this problem.’ What may seem like something small for me is really a big deal for them. I’m around the Dearborn area a lot. A student saw me at a restaurant one time, stopped me, and said, ‘Hey, you helped me figure out my class schedule. Thanks a lot.’”
Willams intends to make his career in higher education.
“I feel like I’m making a difference in students’ lives,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, HFC has been very community-based. Everyone has been excited to have us come aboard and they have been welcoming and friendly. I can see myself here for the long term. I feel I can make an impact here at the College.”