Letter from our founder
It was a 2014 commercial featuring the ballerina Misty Copeland, the first Black woman to be named as principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater, that led me to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club. In learning about her, I found that her talent was discovered at a Boys & Girls Club, which resulted in her having an opportunity to take professional ballet lessons and, eventually, to achieve groundbreaking success. Her life story inspired me to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties and there I discovered other children of great talent who also could go on to change the world if they too were given opportunities.
As I tutored third to fifth grade students, I saw that many of these bright, promising children were not being offered the opportunity to reach their academic potential in their underperforming schools. I reached out to two highly successful Durham independent schools to discuss a partnership to give several fifth and sixth grade students the opportunity to apply to and attend their schools during the middle school years, where they would receive an academically challenging and more diverse education that would prepare them for the college path in high school. Both schools recognized this opportunity as one that could change lives. Students to Scholars was formed as a volunteer-led initiative to help bright, disadvantaged students enroll in independent schools during their middle school years. The first four children began their new school schools in 2017. Later that year, we added two other Durham independent schools as partners. The next year, five more students were admitted to our partner schools and by 2019-20, and again in 2020-21, we had sixteen students receiving a challenging education in these independent schools in grades 5-8. By 2021, we had seven graduates attending college preparatory high schools.
Our students attending these schools during their middle school years are on an academic path that will prepare them for college placement classes in high school so that they can compete for admission to any college by the time they are high-school seniors. This will change the trajectories of their lives and that of all whom they touch. They will change the world, one middle school student at a time.
I hope you will join me, with our school partners, to be part of this exciting opportunity to turn promising students into scholars. Thank you.