Eleven recent high-school graduates will embark on their journey to college with “Trunks for Success.” The students received the trunks from the Chi Chapter of Tau Gamma Delta Sorority at a presentation at the Lion’s Club in Tarboro Saturday afternoon.
Anita Jones said she hopes the Trunks for Success will help the students “soar to higher heights” in their education.
Larissa Jones, a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and former “Trunks for Success” recipient, gave the college-bound students words of wisdom. She emphasized the importance of “work before play,” encouraging the students to be responsible and exercise self-discipline. She urged them not to forget the values their parents taught them and to maintain their relationship with God.
“Don’t be a follower; be a leader. Stick to your morals,” said Jones.
Several of the students who received trunks are first-generation college students.
“I’m the first person in my family to go to college,” said Biyan Layo.
A recent graduate of Southern Nash High School, Layo plans to attend St. Augustine University, where he will major in computer information systems. Layo also received a band scholarship; he will play the saxophone in the university’s marching band.
“When I was younger, I never thought I would be fortunate enough to go to college,” said Layo. “I’m glad I get this opportunity to go. I’m excited about going to college and I’m going to try my best and be successful.”
Jerica Janney, a recent graduate of Rocky Mount Preparatory School, said she is the first one in her family to actually leave home to attend college.
“I’m the first one in my family to go to a university,” said Janney. She plans to attend UNC-Pembroke, where she will study pre-med/ biology. Her ultimate goal is to attend Duke University Medical School and become a neurologist or oncologist. Janney said she thinks the Trunks for Success program is a “wonderful idea” because her family could not afford all the supplies necessary for her college dorm room otherwise.
Another student planning to enter the medical field is Satoria Pearce, a recent graduate of Northern Nash High School, Pearce plans to major in nursing at UNC-Greensboro, with the ultimate goal of earning her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery from East Carolina University.
Other majors of choice for Trunks for Success recipients included social work (Tasheika Powell, recent graduate of North Edgecombe High School), criminal justice (Aaliyah Ennis, recent graduate of Southern Nash High School), biology (Jaimi Boston, recent graduate of Edgecombe Early College High School), and physical therapy (Tevin Taylor, recent graduate of Rocky Mount High School). Tee-tree Pittman, recent graduate of Southwest Edgecombe High School, has not yet decided on a major. Other trunk recipients were Kalessia Bailey, Tarboro High School graduate; Timothy Harrell, Tarboro High School graduate; and LePorschia Hankerson, North Edgecombe High School graduate.
The mini ironing boards and bedspreads in the Trunks for Success will cut back on dorm room expenses for the students, but the most meaningful item in the trunks was a piece of paper with the phone number of their sponsor written on it. During the trunk presentations, each sponsor urged her student to give her a call anytime he/ she got homesick or needed some advice.
This is the fourth year that the local chapter of the sorority has presented the Trunks for Success for local college-bound students. All 10 high schools in Edgecombe and Nash Counties were represented in this year’s Trunk for Success program. Mary Frazier and Mary Hinton, co-chairpersons of Chi Chapter Tau Gamma Delta Sorority, presided over Saturday’s program, under the direction of Chi Chapter’s President Melanie P. Hudson.
“Trunks for Success” was introduced to Tau Gamma Delta Sorority at the National Meeting in Chicago in 2008. Bonnie Miah founded the “Trunk Party, Inc.” as a result of learning of a college-bound young man who only had a trash bag in which to pack his belongings.