Augusta, Ga (WJBF)- Looking through the lens of history, black excellence is what people of color strived for and continue to define. From the Segregation of schools to “colored water fountains”, the roadblocks set to hinder black people were instead used as a driving force. Margaret Tutt Adams knows those roadblocks all too well as she became the first African American chief probation officer in Columbia county.  

Margaret Tutt Adams says “If someone can say that lady made a difference in my life. She changed my whole attitude, she encouraged me to believe in myself and I believe at that point, I will have fulfilled a purpose in God.” 

From an early age, Adams knew she was going to be an educator. Fluently reading at the age of 5, she was placed in a segregated one room school where it was the encouraging words from her mother and teacher that influenced  her to become a teacher herself…It was her love, not just for teaching, but inspiring children that motivated her during her 34 years at the Juvenile Court.  

Adams says If you have a desire to pout into, to encourage, to support, to lift up someone, you’re teaching. You could be working in Walmart and if that’s your calling, that’s what you want to do but still you can take the time to impart some form of wisdom and knowledge into someone.”

Adams’s work is defined not just by the title she wears, but the actions behind her role.  Like starting more than two dozen court programs at the Juvenile Court to help the youth of today.  

Former colleague Terry Rutledge says she was very instrumental in getting the programs started for the juvenile court and we still do use a lot of those today.”

Adams is not letting retirement slow her down. In fact, she’s still lending a hand with the programs at the Juvenile Court.  

Former colleague and friend Kimberly Hunter says I’ve always had a love for children, but she enhanced that even more by helping these kids that make bad decisions continue on with their lives.

Margaret Tutt Adams wants everyone to know that whatever you do in life, be you, do you and be your best. Don’t change your personality to fit somebody else. Know that I’m valuable and am worth it. She says this is the message she imparts to the kids in the school system and will continue to impart.

In Augusta, Taylor Leverett, WJBF News Channel 6.