#SUNFLOWERCHALLENGE EXTENDED!

In response to your requests, we are extending the deadline for our #sunflowerchallenge by one week!  Read below to learn more about the challenge and make a donation by Monday May, 10th to receive a pack of our Southern Scholars Sunflower Seeds!

Happy Spring!  Did you know that the vibrant flower found at the center of our logo is a sunflower?  We chose the sunflower because: 1. they were Dr. Pressey’s favorite flowers and 2. sunflowers always follow the sun – an inspiring gesture that symbolizes hope.


Hope is a big deal to the Southern Scholars Family!  One of the reasons, Dr. Pressey was so passionate about education was because she firmly believed young people are our best hope for a brighter and better future and we should therefore provide them with all the tools they need to succeed, including a great education.  We are working hard to follow Dr. Pressey’s wise directive, and we are yielding results!


According to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, within our current service area in South Carolina, a mere 2.3% of young people between the ages of 18 to 24 have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree (compared to 11.6% nationally).  Despite these dismal odds, our Scholars are thriving.  Collectively they currently hold a 3.4 GPA and they are each well-poised to graduate from college on time with very little debt.   To learn more about our bright and brilliant Scholars and why they continue to inspire us to be hopeful for the future, take a look at this video!


We are so proud of each of our current Scholars and we are looking forward to welcoming our third class of wonderfully ambitious students to the Southern Scholars family next month.  Like all of our Scholars, each member of our 2021 class will receive a financial award of up to $18,000, a dedicated success coach, a career mentor, travel opportunities, and impactful advocacy and community service experiences.


This year, we will also hire an academic advisor to make certain our Scholars are successfully persisting toward graduation and gaining all they can from their college years.  We are also developing an emergency fund for our Scholars. The pandemic made it clear that we must be prepared for the unexpected at all times.  The Scholar Support Fund will be used to support our Scholars when they encounter unanticipated financial hurdles that might impact them academically.


To help us provide these and many other critical resources to our Scholars, our goal is to raise $30,000 throughout the month of April.


Will you commit to supporting students like Larry, Sheila, Jaela, and Kalia by making a gift of any amount to Southern Scholars today?


As a special thank you, all donors who accept our #SunflowerChallenge by giving this month will receive a pack of Southern Scholars sunflower seeds and planting instructions.

Once your sunflowers bloom, be sure to share photos on social media using the hashtag, #sunflowerchallenge.


we know that our mission of leveling the academic playing field for students of color from low-income communities in the rural South may seem like an impossible task.  Nevertheless, we remain full of hope, and as President Obama explained:


“Hope is not blind optimism.  It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path…Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and work for it, and to fight for it.  Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”


Thank you for reaching, working, and fighting with us!


Please have a safe and happy Spring!


With love,



The Southern Scholars Family

Make A Donation

#sunflowerchallenge2021

by Southern Scholars Initiative, Inc.


#SUNFLOWERCHALLENGE EXTENDED!

In response to your requests, we are extending the deadline for our #sunflowerchallenge by one week!  Read below to learn more about the challenge and make a donation by Monday May, 10th to receive a pack of our Southern Scholars Sunflower Seeds!

Happy Spring!  Did you know that the vibrant flower found at the center of our logo is a sunflower?  We chose the sunflower because: 1. they were Dr. Pressey’s favorite flowers and 2. sunflowers always follow the sun – an inspiring gesture that symbolizes hope.


Hope is a big deal to the Southern Scholars Family!  One of the reasons, Dr. Pressey was so passionate about education was because she firmly believed young people are our best hope for a brighter and better future and we should therefore provide them with all the tools they need to succeed, including a great education.  We are working hard to follow Dr. Pressey’s wise directive, and we are yielding results!


According to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, within our current service area in South Carolina, a mere 2.3% of young people between the ages of 18 to 24 have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree (compared to 11.6% nationally).  Despite these dismal odds, our Scholars are thriving.  Collectively they currently hold a 3.4 GPA and they are each well-poised to graduate from college on time with very little debt.   To learn more about our bright and brilliant Scholars and why they continue to inspire us to be hopeful for the future, take a look at this video!


We are so proud of each of our current Scholars and we are looking forward to welcoming our third class of wonderfully ambitious students to the Southern Scholars family next month.  Like all of our Scholars, each member of our 2021 class will receive a financial award of up to $18,000, a dedicated success coach, a career mentor, travel opportunities, and impactful advocacy and community service experiences.


This year, we will also hire an academic advisor to make certain our Scholars are successfully persisting toward graduation and gaining all they can from their college years.  We are also developing an emergency fund for our Scholars. The pandemic made it clear that we must be prepared for the unexpected at all times.  The Scholar Support Fund will be used to support our Scholars when they encounter unanticipated financial hurdles that might impact them academically.


To help us provide these and many other critical resources to our Scholars, our goal is to raise $30,000 throughout the month of April.


Will you commit to supporting students like Larry, Sheila, Jaela, and Kalia by making a gift of any amount to Southern Scholars today?


As a special thank you, all donors who accept our #SunflowerChallenge by giving this month will receive a pack of Southern Scholars sunflower seeds and planting instructions.

Once your sunflowers bloom, be sure to share photos on social media using the hashtag, #sunflowerchallenge.


we know that our mission of leveling the academic playing field for students of color from low-income communities in the rural South may seem like an impossible task.  Nevertheless, we remain full of hope, and as President Obama explained:


“Hope is not blind optimism.  It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path…Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and work for it, and to fight for it.  Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”


Thank you for reaching, working, and fighting with us!


Please have a safe and happy Spring!


With love,



The Southern Scholars Family