Uncovering the career path you want to pursue can be a difficult and daunting task, no matter where you are in your life. Even after being in the workforce for years, many people change careers. Ultimately, this question is hard to answer and frequently asked early in your life.
As the Extended Experiences Coordinator for Zionsville Community High School, Adelpha Twyman connects students to opportunities to explore their interests and passions to uncover the possibilities for future careers.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Adelpha attended Texas A&M University earning her undergraduate degree in Education. She met her husband while working for the Plano Independent School District. After marrying in 1997, she and her husband decided to make Indianapolis, her husband’s hometown, their permanent residence.
Adelpha began her career in the Dallas Independent School District where she was a middle school English teacher for six years. Following this time, Adelpha returned to school at the University of North Texas to obtain her Master’s Degree in School Counseling. She would move on to work as a counselor for W.H. Adamson High School (Dallas ISD) and then Bowman Middle School (Plano ISD).
Upon moving to Indianapolis, Adelpha began work as the Dean of Girls at Southport High School. During this time, she earned her second Master’s Degree in Secondary School Administration from Butler University. At this time, the opportunity presented itself to be the Assistant Principal and Guidance Counselor at Speedway Junior High. Accepting this position made Adelpha the first African American professional to be hired in Speedway Schools.
Adelpha eventually found her position with Zionsville Community High School as the first Extended Experience Coordinator. The district’s administration researched local and national high school career programs to create the Extended Experiences resource that complimented Zionsville’s academic offerings. Adelpha’s experience as a classroom teacher, administrator, and counselor made her the perfect candidate to help find opportunities beyond the classroom.
Her role as coordinator allows her to connect students with opportunities, whether it’s for careers, global travels, community services, or academic research. . This resource helps ZCHS students gain experience prior to graduation so that they may make more informed decisions post-high school.. Ultimately, the goal is to help students prepare for the next chapter of their life.Students have engaged in various endeavors from interning with zWORKS partners to conducting research for a federal grant in IUPUI’s science lab to earning a pilot’s license before graduation.
In the initial three years of developing the resource, zWORKS partnered with the high school to conduct a one-day Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. Following participation in the camp, students interned with various zWORKS businesses.. This partnership helped entrepreneurial minded students learn what it means to start and build a business. It also allowed these entrepreneurs to give back to the community and receive assistance with their businesses during the summer months. This win-win alliance helped students to learn a great deal about small business and entrepreneurship, as well as provide entrepreneurs with much-needed assistance.
Coming in May, zWORKS and ZCHS will partner for the third time and host a “Shark Tank” event. Students will create and present their business ideas to participating zWORKS entrepreneurs, the way a startup would when searching for funding. This will help students gain real world experience by creating a business plan and presenting it for feedback.
In the future, Adelpha is hoping to build on the existing relationship with zWORKS to provide students with greater opportunities within the zWORKS community. As the Extended Experience Coordinator, Adelpha is constantly looking for new experiences for the students of Zionsville Community High School to explore their interests, passions, and offer servcie.
If you are interested in partnering with ZCHS and offering students opportunities to partner with your organization, please feel free to contact Adelpha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to know Adelpha on a more personal level…
- Adelpha holds two masters degrees: one from the University of North Texas and the other from Butler University.
- Adelpha and her husband have one son who is a Freshman at Ball State University.