Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar
Jah-Ni Blanton-Dale

Helping Scholars, Exponentially

When a first-generation Scholar completes college, what does that mean?  Individually, a young mind is activated, given the knowledge and credentials to succeed. However, the hidden benefit of supporting those that are the first in their family to graduate college may not be so obvious. How that Scholar then impacts the community around him is profound. 

Meet Sean

Sean Davis, a 2016 graduate of Troy High School and a 518 ElevatED Alumni, is the personification of the compounded impacts of a first-generation scholar.

In the beginning

During his young life, Sean frequently moved around the Capital Region before settling in Troy during his middle school years. Sean’s home life was always filled with love and empathy, but the frequent presence of crisis intervention left him longing for consistency.  Sean was aware of the hurdles he faced and knew he wanted to hold on to the good person he understood was inside of him – he just didn’t know how.  When his coach and 518 ElevatED Academic Coordinator, Ryan Miekle, suggested he apply to the program, the avenue to help find his center seemed possible.  Sean considered himself to be a person who is intrigued by human behavior and new experiences. He realized that having the chance to be a part of this opportunity – where teachers and mentors were there for extra support – would be something that would propel his education.  It was through presentations from visiting professionals during the afterschool sessions that Sean saw his future.   He knew if he kept on this path, he would one day be the one leading discussions with young scholars.

Sean credits accountability and the need to prioritize education as pillars that he learned through his participation in 518 ElevatED that kept him focused.   Sean graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in psychology and a minor in Black studies. 

Coming full circle

Today you can find Sean working at Troy High School as the Attendance Specialist and Truancy Officer.  Sean encourages and inspires students every day to take their education seriously.  When offering advice to young students, he tells them “By giving respect to the teachers and counselors, and yourself, there are a lot of good opportunities and networks that are open to you. Take advantage of them, it is what they are there for.”  Sean emphasizes that Scholars need to do this for themselves.


A piece of the puzzle

Support for 518 ElevatED improved Sean’s possibilities.  However, the benefits do not stop there. Sean continues to strive to share the gift he was given.  As he continues his education, currently a Master of Higher Education student, Sean hopes to work in academic administration and “bring people to a new level they never expected they could reach.”

By supporting our 51 first-generation to college Scholars, you are helping to create the next generation of leaders. Donate today.