Life in Baltimore: The Sutton Scholars High School Enrichment Program
Brenda Bowe Johnson | 2/17/2017, 6 a.m. | Updated on 2/16/2017, 6 a.m.
Clover Hill, on the grounds of The Episcopal Diocesan Center was the setting for a reception to learn about The Sutton Scholars High School Enrichment
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has partnered with Morgan State University to teach high school students the importance of life skills. It is a unique collaboration where the values and goals
of a religious organization and an institution of higher learning intersect. The purpose of the reception was to share the vision for the Sutton Scholars program in Baltimore City with a select
group of guests who have the capacity and affinity to make impactful philanthropic investments into the program which aims to give students a head start with navigating their way through high school and beyond by teaching life skills.
The idea for Sutton Scholars was seeded in 2008, with a committee who researched, submitted studies, suggested supplemental programs and finally established a partnership, according to
the Rev. Angela Shepherd. The program began in the summer of 2016 on the Morgan State campus.
Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton greeted guests and shared his excitement about the program, which bears his name. He hopes that introductions made at the event will encourage people to become more involved with the program; to cultivate potential donors; and to encourage adults to become mentors `and volunteers.
Sutton's longtime passion has been to provide Baltimore students with the necessary tools to succeed. For the past several years, a group of Episcopalians who share a passion for urban education met regularly to define what it takes for a high school student to achieve his or her highest potential, accomplish their goals, and succeed in life. They concluded the key
factor is learning life skills--which are mostly developed outside school walls.
Having significant contact with adults who mentor youth, both formally and informally, teaching them how to function in the wider world beyond their family and school are some of the ways that youth may acquire these skills. These skills include conflict resolution, critical thinking, effective study habits, appropriate dress and communication for the workplace, and being comfortable in various cultural settings.
“When I was a youngster growing up in Washington, D.C., there were some adults who took the time and interest to help me learn things they don't teach in school. It made a profound effect on me and prepared me for where I am today. That's what this program is about," said Bishop Sutton.
Dr. Patricia Welch, dean of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University discussed the importance of the program, which teaches children to be confident, competent individuals by providing them with the skills to succeed in school and become contributing citizens.
Kea Smith, program coordinator, explained that 30 additional students will participate during the summer 2017, and additional components of the program, includes: debate, public speaking and digital media research. Each year, 30 scholars will be added to the program.
Program Director Neva Brown, explained that the program runs for four weeks, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and nutritious meals are provided daily. A pre-and post assessment of skills and attitudes are provided, and trained teachers and mentors follows the scholars from 9th through 12th grade. Parent/ caregiver involvement is required.
“This program has taught me that I can be successful, and can achieve throughout my life," said 10th grader, Kendall Knox.