How did Sutton Scholars make a difference in my life? The Sutton Scholars High School Enrichment Program provided me with extra structure and courage to advance towards my goals – conditioning me to seek more and better opportunities, despite how I was brought up. It encouraged me to want to improve myself in numerous ways, including being more articulate, knowledgeable, and wiser overall. The program’s “enrichment” title should be taken literally, as it provides scholars with a chance for change, a difference they can grasp through dedication and will. Sutton Scholars prepared me for tasks I may have to tackle in the real world as well – one of the major ones being public speaking. Being able to face a crowd of people and say what is on your mind or even using a script is extremely stressful, but the program taught me to believe that all strenuous deeds can be conquered. Sutton Scholars also shifted my demeanor and outlook. I would usually let things happen without taking action. Now I am often the source of the “noise” during those quiet times when someone should speak up. The program aided me in making major life decisions as I stated before, conditioned me to seek more, and to pursue better opportunities. I now attend college and serve in the armed forces, and I know that both can propel me to success. To be frank, I don’t think I would have been able to do so if I had not attended and graduated from the Sutton Scholars High School Enrichment Program.

Tyreek Smith, Jr.
Sutton Scholars Graduate 2020

My name is David and I was a member of one of the first cohorts of Sutton Scholars. I took part in this enrichment program for four fun-filled years. Sutton Scholars has a great way of mixing life lessons and fun all in one – while also providing a stipend! The staff bonds with the scholars to help them become better versions of themselves. The program is filled with youth that have the potential to be great – all they need is a little guidance and a push, and that’s what Sutton Scholars mentors do.

Personally, Sutton Scholars helped me realize that every action does not require a reaction. Some things can be ignored, and we need to choose our responses wisely. Since I am a young Black male, any wrong reaction could cause a way worse situation. I am now a first-year college student transitioning smoothly into my new school.

This enrichment program gave me support and helped me hone skills that I will need for the real world. While I am grateful for that, I also want to talk about the fun aspect. We have trips that keep the cohorts engaged, and activities to make the experience fun. For example, Claggett is a retreat center where we spend a week every summer in dorms – hiking, swimming, zip lining and doing other fun activities. So, to sum it up, Sutton Scholars gives youth the guidance they need, a stipend, fun activities and a support system. Even more, they provide a family.

David Knott
Sutton Scholars Graduate 2021

My name is Victoria Diggins, and from my sophomore to my senior year of high school, I participated in the Sutton Scholars High School Enrichment Program. The Sutton Scholars program was a very enlightening and beneficial experience for me. The program helped me to build upon skills such as communication, time management, public speaking, leadership, and workplace etiquette. In addition to developing many wonderful connections, I also forged close bonds with others.

I was once more able to see the impact Sutton Scholars had on my life when it came time for me to submit applications for colleges and scholarships. During my process, I applied for the Cheatham-White scholarship at North Carolina Central University, which is a fully funded scholarship. In the required essay, I talked about my experiences with the Sutton Scholars program. After being selected for the scholarship interview, I received the scholarship one month later. I am now a first year Cheatham-White psychology student at North Carolina Central University. Using the skills and knowledge I obtained throughout my years of being a Sutton Scholar, I was able to finish my first semester of college strong by getting wonderful grades, building meaningful relationships, networking, and more. Sutton Scholars made an impact on my life that I will never forget.

Victoria Diggins
Sutton Scholars Graduate 2021