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Adkins High Jumping His Way Forward In Life

Adkins High Jumping His Way Forward In Life

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


From the ball court to the high jump, Eli Adkins had a high school career that focused on sports and ways to improve within the sports, but he also found time to make a difference in the lives of others - particularly those with special needs. One of the cords that he added to his graduation gown was for peer support mentoring and it helped motivate him to choose occupational therapy as his future career.

   When asked about his high school experience, Eli admitted that his has been a “little different.” Due to COVID restrictions, he had to do his classwork from home for an entire school year. Still, he said that it has been “all around fun and I couldn’t ask for better. My favorite part of high school is the fact that no matter where you go, there is always something to do. The principal and the teachers at Greenup County High School want kids to have a good high school experience which I believe they’ve achieved.”

   Adkins played basketball and participated in the high jump with the track and field team while in high school. He could play any position on the court but was mainly shooting or point guard. During his senior year, the basketball team won the District Championship for the first time since 2017; unfortunately, they lost the first round at the regional tournament.

   Despite his prowess on the basketball court, when it was time to choose a sport to play through college, Adkins chose track and field and the high jump. He signed with Shawnee State University to be a part of their track and field team throughout his college career. He hopes to win the conference in the high jump while there. Even in his downtime, Adkins remains focused on sports. He spends his free time lifting weights, practicing, and watching videos of himself and others because he is always working to improve.

   In addition to playing sports, Adkins also has his own lawn care business. He mows yards and does the weed eating for several people in his community. This summer, he will also be working as a lifeguard at Greenbo Lake State Park.

   At the beginning of his senior year, Adkins was “not sure what I wanted to do” as a future career. His older sister works as a physical therapist and he liked the idea of helping people get back to their normal lives. Then he found out that one of the students with special needs that he mentored at school works with an occupational therapist a few times a week. So that is the field that he chose. “I want to help kids that have trouble with mobility get to the level where they need to be,” he shared.

   Adkins hopes that, in a few years, he will be able to come back home to Greenup County and work as an occupational therapist with at least one of the students that he was a mentor for in high school. He is also hoping to one day open his own business cleaning up and rebuilding after storm damage.

   The biggest thing that Adkins is going to miss the most as he transitions from high school to college is the “feeling of being a kid and not having any big responsibilities or having to focus on living for the rest of my life.” While his time to focus on only what is in front of him is nearing an end, edging closer to focusing on the big picture and his future is sure to prove exciting for Adkins. His tenacity will certainly move him into a bright and lively future. 

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