By Condie Pugh, Sports Intern
This week I got the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jacqui Virgil founder of the C.H.A.P.S program here in Montgomery. C.H.A.P.S stands for Collegiate Homebase Academic Preparatory Service. Dr. Virgil and this program tutor high school athletes on ACT and SAT material so they can make higher scores so they can attend college. This program’s numbers are phenomenal! Students that go through this program average a twenty-three on the ACT which will get you into just about any college especially with an athletic scholarship. This program has students in over thirty-five colleges and universities, and has acquired over twelve million dollars in academic and athletic scholarships!
Dr. Virgil is a native of Thomasville, Georgia and attended Thomasville Highschool. After high school Dr. Virgil chose Alabama State to attend college, even though she had opportunities at bigger and maybe even better four year colleges such as the University of Florida and Georgia. “Alabama State just felt like home, with people like Pamala Kennedy it felt like the best fit for me.” When speaking more in depth of who Pamala Kennedy is she told me that Mrs. Kennedy was a part of the office staff when she first arrived at Alabama State. She took her under her wing and made her a part of the woman she is today. This is where Dr. Virgil gets her inspiration from seeing the impact someone can have on your life, and why she strives to get more young athletes in College through her program.
My first question I had for Dr. Virgil was “What made you start this program?” She stated, “I coached girls basketball at Concordia College in Selma, and I kept wondering why I kept getting division I talent at this little HBCU private college and it was their ACT scores.” It all made sense when students are really good at a sport they are offered a scholarship from a division I school where they get everything free they just have to go to school. With that being said depending on the school you have to make a certain score on the ACT or SAT test to be accepted into the school. So no matter how good the athlete may be they can’t get in without that certain score.
This brings me to my second focal point from Dr. Virgil, “We have to spread awareness about this test.” What people don’t know is there is no age limit to take this test, so the earlier you take it the more in tune you will be with the material. When most athletes first hear about this test they are juniors and seniors in high school, so they are given a year or even months to know the material on this test and that’s not a good recipe for success of the next generation that we will be leaning on when we are older.
For more information about C.H.A.P.S. Inc. visit www.wegetemd1.com
All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2020.