STS Strive Parents Create Parent Booster Club


STS Enterprise Corporation is an organization of inclusion and unity so much so that the members of the STS Strive program and two of the program’s parents, Shuntea Price and Mary Bibbs, started a parent booster club to give the parents a voice and assist them in their desire to support the organization's efforts. The parent booster club is where the parents are able to advocate for the program, recruit parents and student, provide parental advice, and build relationships in the process. They have created fundraisers such as a Krispy Kreme voucher sale, proposed a spring car wash, and a raffling, explaining why one of the benefits of STS Strive is parent engagement. Going beyond just dropping their child(ren) off for program activities, the parents are also coordinating events and being active participants in different decision-making aspects of the program. They too strive to help empower their children to become leaders and obtain post-secondary opportunities. The parents involved in the parent booster club believe in the mission of the organization and they are committed to aiding STS in continuing to be the preferred leadership organization in the mid-south.  

" The Parent Booster Club has a tremendous impact on our program! They not only coordinate ways to engage parents but they discuss ways to improve both the student and parental experience in STS Strive. As an organization that prides itself on making excellence the norm, we appreciate and embrace the feedback and ideas from our parents and students. Our program would not be complete without our Parent Booster Club!" Vice President and Co-founder of STS Enterprise Corporation Alton Cryer   

For more information about STS Enterprise be sure to follow STS on all social media platforms and subscribe to the newsletter from the organization’s website by clicking the link provided  

STS Enterprise Announces 2018-2019 Board Of Directors


Setting The Standard. That is what the “STS” in STS Enterprise Corporation means.

Since 2012, the nonprofit has been doing that by developing and empowering the next

generation of Mid-South leaders. The organization has been doing so through a unique

structure where its board, executive team and mentors reflect its student population –

young, diverse and driven.

Today, the organization officially announced its Board of Directors for the 2018-2019

year. The board includes Memphis leaders from various disciplines and walks of life.

The intent is to infuse the organization with distinct skills and expertise and to create a

trickle-down effect where diverse backgrounds and goals are encouraged among the

students the organization serves.

“The programs, initiatives, events, and efforts of our organization are all a reflection of

our board,” explained Jeremy Calhoun, president & co-founder of STS Enterprise

Corporation. “We entered the nonprofit space with big goals and our board has

exceeded expectations with the ideas we have been able to bring to fruition. I am

excited to see where they will take us this year!”

The new STS Enterprise Board of Directors will be under the leadership of Corbin

Carpenter, who has served as Board Chairman since 2016. A reputable leader in the

city, Carpenter is an owner and managing-member of Carpenter Law, PLLC. He has

received honors such as Memphis Flyer’s 2018 “Top 20 Under 30” and 2018 Memphis

Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.”

“I am elated to see the impact our new vision and initiatives implemented by our board

will have this year. We have been more intentional about effectively utilizing our network

and resources to strengthen the organization’s internal committees and operations,

which undoubtedly will improve our external performance with marketing, curriculum

development, fundraising efforts, and more,” Carpenter said. “We intend to bring forth

our same energy and passion of serving and pledge to continue to work diligently to

provide more opportunities for students to gain various experiences and exposure in

diverse social and professional environments in order to shape the next generation of


Each board member has a specialization with the organization, including STS Strive

High School Program, STS Elite College Program, Marketing, Fundraising, Finance,

Legal, and Event Planning. The board’s 22 members include:

 Corbin I. Carpenter, Esquire, Board Chairman, Carpenter Law, PLLC

 Steven Sanders, Board Vice-Chair, FedEx Services

 Jeremy Calhoun, President, STS Co-Founder, International Paper

 Alton Cryer, Vice-President, STS Co-Founder, Orion Federal Credit Union

 Kevin Graff, Board Treasurer, FedEx Corporate

 Christin Webb, Board Executive Secretary, FedEx Services

 Toney Armstrong, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 Phillip Rix, Phillip Ashley Chocolate

 Nikki Baker, Internal Revenue Service

 Cedric Brooks, CMB Capital

 Tonya Diggs, Shelby County Schools

 Sharifa Edwards, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools

 Randy Irving, FedEx Services

 Rachel Knox, Hyde Family Foundation

 Elizabeth Lemmonds, Epicenter Memphis

 Dorian Merriweather, Momentum Nonprofit Partners

 Corey Porta, BankTennessee

 DeVonte Payton, Shelby County Schools

 Dr. Isaac Rodriguez, SweetBio

 Kewon Singleton, International Paper

 Mark Thompson, V2 Media

 Audrey Willis, Code Crew

About STS Enterprise Corporation

In 2012, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer acted on their passions for youth and the Greater Memphis community by introducing STS Enterprise Corporation. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the organization is dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of Mid-South leaders. Through Authentic, Transformative and Excellence-Driven programs, the nonprofit is encouraging students to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create an unyielding mindset. Learn more about how STS Enterprise is “Making Excellence The Norm” at

STS Enterprise celebrates team members honored by Memphis Business Journal

From top to bottom, when STS Enterprise says it is “Making Excellence The Norm” that

is exactly the organization means. This week, the leadership development nonprofit

officially congratulated members of its organization listed as Memphis Business

Journal’s (MBJ) “40 Under Forty” for 2018.

The nonprofit’s co-founder, Alton Cryer was named to the MBJ 2018 class. Cryer has

served as Business Development Officer at Orion Federal Credit Union since 2017. in

his role, he manages and coaches a team to provide financial services to organizations

and companies across the Mid-South in addition to leading financial literacy workshops.

STS Enterprise’s Board Chairman, Corbin I. Carpenter, was also among the list of 2018

honorees. Carpenter is co-owner and a managing-member of Carpenter Law, PLLC.

His firm specializes in the area of corporate and municipal finance law, specifically with

tax-exempt bond financings for affordable multifamily housing, airports, utilities, and

other various economic development projects throughout the southeastern region.

Carpenter additionally manages employees and oversees all operations for the firm.

The list goes on as STS Enterprise board member Phillip Rix was also named to 2018

“40 Under Forty” class. A designer chocolatier, Rix’s brand, Phillip Ashley Chocolates,

has served high-profile clients such as FedEx, Disney, Stevie Wonder and others with

gifts, events and personal treats. His designer chocolates are also sold by national

luxury retailers, and he was featured as the official chocolatier for both the 58th

Grammy Celebration and 69th Emmy Awards Governors Ball.

“At STS we talk constantly about ‘Setting the Standard’ and ‘Making Excellence the

Norm.’ Those are not just slogans for us. They are mottos that shape our lifestyle.

These gentlemen have shown we continue to set the bar high,” said Jeremy Calhoun,

co-founder and president of STS Enterprise. “I am excited to see them being honored

for the great work they are doing professionally and civically through organizations such

as STS. We have so many great leaders on our board, executive team and as student

coaches. This is just a preview of what we offer to our youth in Memphis!”

Since 2012, STS Enterprise has been developing and empowering the next generation

of leaders through a unique structure where its board, executive team and coaches

reflect its student membership – young, diverse and driven. The nonprofit looks forward

to continue doing honor-worthy work through its leaders and students.

About STS Enterprise Corporation

In 2012, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer acted on their passions for youth and the Greater Memphis community by introducing STS Enterprise Corporation. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the organization is

dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of Mid-South leaders. Through Authentic, Transformative and Excellence-Driven programs, the nonprofit is encouraging students to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create an unyielding mindset. Learn more about how STS Enterprise is “Making Excellence The Norm” at

STS Strive Alumni Graduates and Prepares for Future


Memphis will soon have another degreed man in the community.

On December 19th, DeMarcus Collier will officially complete his certificate at Tennessee College of Applied Technology. He will have completed hours in Industrial Maintenance with the trades welding, electronics and machine tool under his belt.

Not only is he going to be more qualified for the world; he has also set a record as the first Setting The Standard Enterprise Corporation Strive Alum who is receiving his degree.

“My mentors taught me how to be different and how to accept being different,” Collier said. “They taught me self-confidence and how to love myself.”

Collier learned about STS as a sophomore at East High School. He remembers meeting co-founder Jeremy Calhoun and at the time having no idea what a mentor was. He went to his first meeting and was “intrigued.”

He loved how the program poured into young men, especially those from broken homes. Being from Binghampton, he was happy to find another family outside of home, especially a family who was willing to give “free game.”

“Family is not always blood-related; all of my mentors are big brothers to me. They’re genuine and they know how to reach you by just being their selves,” Collier said.  

He graduated from East High and STS Strive in May of 2017. He continued applying his skills and with dedication he actually received his certificate in October of 2018, due to TCAT only having one commencement a year. Graduting early is only possible when students earn good grades and enough completed hours by the October deadline. Collier does have one class left and said he’s “just trying to finish strong.”

 He has plans to find a company he can grow and use his skills with and because he’s a product of STS Strive, we are sure he will be successful at doing so. Congratulations DeMarcus and continue #MakingExcellenceTheNorm.

Extracurricular Activities

STS Enterprise is teaming up with education consulting firm OWLS LLC.

OWLS provides professional development and curriculum writing services to school districts, corporations, and nonprofits. They specialize in creating content that helps leaders improve the way their organizations learn, interact, and perform. This gives STS the opportunity to have access to OWLS proprietary content for the purpose of perfecting curriculum development and facilitation aiding STS in becoming the premier alternative for leadership development.

"This partnership will be an effort to help solidify both STS and OWLS as agents of change in the city of Memphis according to co-founder and COO of the OWLS, Dominic Lawson. We will help STS in crystallizing its vision of being the premier leadership organization for youth by advising on best practices in engaging youth and scaling the organization. STS in return will help us deepen our relationship with emerging youth leaders and corporate partners in the city of Memphis."

Dominic who currently serves as a coach/facilitator for the STS Strive program, a facilitator for the STS Elite college program, and on the STS curriculum development committee with his wife already has an in-depth understanding of STS and its programs. 

For more information about STS Enterprise be sure to follow STS on all social media platforms and subscribe to the newsletter from the organization’s website by clicking the link provided

Practical Advice for Professional Preparation


STS Enterprise President Jeremy Calhoun served as a panelist for the University of Memphis’ Emerging Leaders program on Tuesday, September 25th. The Emerging Leaders Program, a comprehensive scholarship program, began in 1983 and has been of benefit to over 700 students since its inception.

The session focused on Professional Preparation: Landing and Succeeding in your First Job. Calhoun was pleased to “give them some practical advice to get them where they need to go.” He spoke on the importance of following-up and developing competencies/skills to make you more valuable regardless of your major or discipline.

In 2012, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer acted on their passions for youth and the Greater Memphis community by introducing STS Enterprise Corporation. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the organization is dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of Mid-South leaders. Through Authentic, Transformative and Excellence-Driven programs, the nonprofit is encouraging students to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create an unyielding mindset. 

Learn more about how STS Enterprise is “Making Excellence The Norm” and DONATE TODAY at

A Day In The Life

3 years ago, STS Enterprise started an initiative that would give the students of the STS Strive program a jumpstart on choosing their future career. “A Day in The Life” was created to allow students to gain hands-on experience in their desired professions, give them the opportunity to see if the field they selected was, in fact, a match while exposing students to connections with leaders within their field. It also displays company options for students to possibly work for after graduating, helping to retain Memphis talent.

Every summer 8 students are chosen for an opportunity to job shadow with companies such as SweetBio, Driven by Music, UTC Carrier, Allworld Project Management, and Cushman and Wakefield. The selection is based off what the students have identified as their desired career choice from information collected at the beginning of the year. Imagine being in high school and being able to add working for a commercial real estate agency as experience on your resume. Companies are always looking for candidates who have years of experience before they can even step into their field, so this gives Memphis youth an advantage over other candidates.

" SweetBio has taught me to save lives using periodontal honey experiments. I verified expiration dates for quality purposes and insured the flexibility and durability of the product. I learned their products help remove toxins from the human body which equals a healthy life. It was truly an eye-opening experience."  Says Amyria Garrett, a student in the program.

STS Enterprise and their company partners have committed to giving a much-needed opportunity to Memphis youth as well as shown their commitment to making a difference in the city of Memphis. The coaches have dedicated themselves to make sure that the youth within the program have the resources and the tools they need to defy stereotypes, exceed expectations, succeed, and create a mindset that is unyielding.

“Thank you all for the opportunity to host a student. Kayla and I really enjoyed our time with Amyria. She was very impressive, and Kayla and I were shocked that she was so young with an amazing head on her shoulders! During her shadowing experience, she was able to perform some scientific studies, learn more about starting up a company, and asked very thoughtful questions about college and beyond. We were excited that we could show her a little piece of what we do. At the end of the day, Amyria said that we could “keep her”. Students like this are what any company is looking for so we’d love to keep in touch with her throughout the years and maybe even see what opportunities we can collaborate on in the future.” explains co-founder of SweetBio, Isaac Rodriguez.

Continue to follow STS Strive and support their efforts. You may become a “Partner in Excellence” by donating $10/month, sign a student up for the program, or maybe even become part of the team! Click on the programs tab on our webpage to learn more about STS Strive. 

AutoZone Intern Lands Role Through Nonprofit, STS Enterprise


Many things change between high school and college, but one remains the same: Upperclassmen Privilege. Privileges range from first dibs on class registration to priority at networking events. Methembe Moyo, a rising sophomore at LeMoyne-Owen College and Zimbabwe native, was fine acquiescing to seniority — at least he was until he learned differently.

In the fall of 2016, Moyo met Alton Cryer, co-founder of STS Enterprise, at a New Memphis networking event. STS Enterprise is a local nonprofit that focuses on developing and empowering high school and college students in the Mid-South.

“After the event, I had a very interesting conversation with Alton about his organization and he gave me his business card. After a few days, I followed up and he invited me to coffee. I was blown away that he was interested in me,” Moyo explained. “Over coffee, I realized that Alton is a great guy. He gave me advice about wonderful opportunities in the city for students. And before we left, he invited me to the next STS Elite meeting.”

STS Elite is the nonprofit’s collegiate program that features meetings, socials, conferences, and workforce development opportunities. Moyo currently serves as the STS Elite Vice President and a member of the Meeting Coordination Committee. It is through a former STS Elite President that Moyo learned leadership has no age limit.

“At my first meeting, I approached the then president of STS Elite. At the time, I did not know that freshmen could have internships,” Moyo noted. “But, as she was telling me about her experiences, she mentioned her freshman internship with Volkswagen. I said, “Wow! How did you do that?” She told me I just needed to show that I could do the job.”

Moyo did just that. By the end of his freshman year, he had received internship offers from two major Memphis corporations. He is currently the Quality Assurance Intern in AutoZone’s IT Department. Not to mention, he is on a full scholarship at LeMoyne, majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Defense. He is an embodiment of the STS mission of Making Excellence The Norm.

“STS has shown me that the sky is the limit. I know I can do anything as long as I put the work into it. STS has really been a blessing,” Moyo said. “One of the biggest skills I’ve gained from STS is networking. People meet me now and say, “Wow, he knows what to say, what to ask, how to handle himself, how to maintain relationships.” STS has really put me ahead of my peers and helped me to set a standard.”

If you would like to interview Moyo and the leadership team of STS Enterprise, email

About STS Enterprise Corporation

In 2012, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer acted on their passions for youth and the Greater Memphis community by introducing STS Enterprise Corporation. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the organization is dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of Mid-South leaders. Through Authentic, Transformative and Excellence-Driven programs, the nonprofit is encouraging students to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create an unyielding mindset. Learn more about how STS Enterprise is “Making Excellence The Norm” at

STS Enterprise Rebrands High School Program


In candid conversation, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer, co-founders of the nonprofit STS Enterprise, will explain they never sought to create a mentoring program. The two young professionals were not interested in hosting sports events for boys or etiquette classes for girls. Calhoun and Cryer wanted to give future generations of Memphians leadership tools to excel.

Thus, the transition from STS Mentoring to STS Strive may have been inevitable. STS Strive is the new name of the nonprofit’s high school leadership program.

“We changed the program’s name because we wanted to differentiate ourselves in the youth development arena,” Calhoun said. “We are doing more than mentoring, as our former name implied, so we need a name that reflects that.”

The mission of STS Strive is to expose students, ages 14-18, to leadership development skills and post-secondary pathways.

“We actually challenged our students to come up with a new name. They came up with strive and we agreed,” Cryer said. “For us, it represents devotion to accomplishing a goal. We want our young people to complete anything that they start.”

Founded in 2012, STS Enterprise’s two programs Strive and Elite, which serves college students, are dedicated to the motto of Making Excellence The Norm among minority youth in the city. Uniquely structured, the nonprofit’s board, executive team and mentors reflect its student population – young, diverse and driven.

While the nonprofit’s high school leadership program has rebranded, the overall organization’s branding will remain the same. STS’ core colors are green, representing growth, and gold, representing high standards. Its logo, an arrow, symbolizes the upward trajectory that the nonprofit aims to establish for engaged youth.

To interview STS Enterprise’s leadership team, email

About STS Enterprise Corporation

In 2012, Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer acted on their passions for youth and the Greater Memphis community by introducing STS Enterprise Corporation. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the organization is dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of Mid-South leaders. Through Authentic, Transformative and Excellence-Driven programs, the nonprofit is encouraging students to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create an unyielding mindset. Learn more about how STS Enterprise is “Making Excellence The Norm” at

STS Enterprise Takes Memphis Flyer's Top 20<30


Every year The Memphis Flyer, a free weekly newspaper serving the Memphis community, publishes its list of Memphis’ top 20 best and brightest young people. This elite group of people contribute to changing the lives of those that they encounter as well as contributing to the growth of Memphis. This year’s issue, published on January 24th, featured four of STS Enterprise’s very own. Receiving this immense honor were Corbin Carpenter, Steven Sanders, J.B. Smiley, and Kirbi Tucker.

These four individuals have dedicated their careers to serving others by working in areas involving at-risk youth, throwing their hat into the political ring, improving opportunities for education, and fighting poverty. They don’t just talk about the issues, they emerged themselves into them and find a solution. They are the true definition of what it means to create the change you want to see. Special Shout to them and their efforts, STS Enterprise is extremely proud to have these four incredible beings as members of their team. This accomplishment is well deserved and there will be much more to come.

Corbin, Steven, J.B. and Kirbi please continue to be the light we need in the world and pave the way for others to follow in your footsteps! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the latest issue of The Memphis Flyer’s Top 20 under 30!

Also, please continue to follow STS Enterprise on all social media platforms, subscribe to the newsletter from the organization’s website, volunteer, or maybe even join the team! 

STS Enterprise Founders Panelist for MULYP First General Body Meeting

On December 21, 2017, Founders Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer were panelist at the First General Body Meeting for The Memphis Urban League of Young Professionals. They were among some of Memphis' most elite leaders within education, real estate, Health, and community outreach. All panelist answered questions that involved how their professions affected the black community and discussed why they opted to enter into those fields. The meeting gave attendees the opportunity to have conversations that we as Memphis residents should be having with each other, like what were their thoughts on gentrification or what moving back to their old neighborhood could do to help redevelop the area. 

There were moments where the views discussed were on opposing sides however, even with opposing views the energy was high, and the passion could be felt from all in attendance.The meeting displayed the commitment to Memphis from its residents, the want for a change, and it was a reminder that we are stronger together. Hopefully the energy from that meeting carries over into the years to come and the passion turns into the growth.

Memphis Urban League recently started the revitalization process of its chapter and with the direction of LaTricea Adams and her team, they are moving in the right direction. Memphis Urban League of Young Professionals is looking for leaders within the city to join and be a part of the movement, please check out their website by clicking on the link Also, follow them on Instagram at Mem_ulyp and on Facebook by searching Memphis Urban League Young Professionals. 




We often assume young men, fresh out of college, are focused on money and women. This is hardly the case for Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer — Memphis natives who are busy ensuring more young people complete college.

Still in their twenties, these young men have already contributed more to the Memphis community than many folks twice their age. They founded Setting the Standard (STS) Enterprise, a nonprofit providing leadership and mentorship for teens and college students.

On April 13, they’re hosting a networking event for college students to meet Memphis leaders. Learn more at

 Renee Malone, APR, Publisher of The Memphis 100

David Waters: Defiant pair fight low expectations with higher education

&nbsp;The crowd mingles while at the "Bringing out the Leaders" event at the University of Memphis on Thursday night. The event is part of Alton Cryer (far left) and Jeremy Calhoun's (not pictured) efforts to help college students network with local government and business officials. (Andrea Morales/Special to the Commercial Appeal)

 The crowd mingles while at the "Bringing out the Leaders" event at the University of Memphis on Thursday night. The event is part of Alton Cryer (far left) and Jeremy Calhoun's (not pictured) efforts to help college students network with local government and business officials. (Andrea Morales/Special to the Commercial Appeal)

All this city needs is more defiant young men like Jeremy Calhoun and Alton Cryer.

Young men who defy the gravitational forces of their peers and neighborhood perils. Young men who defy society’s downward glances and expectations. Young men who defy the staggering odds stacked against them, their generation, their community.

“We want to change the city, change perceptions people have of young African-American men, defy stereotypes,” said Calhoun, the 25-year-old president and co-founder of STS Enterprise.

STS is a nonprofit organization they formed in 2012 while they were business management students at the University of Memphis.

STS is also an acronym for what has become their mission ever since: Setting the Standard.

“I can’t control the negative thoughts or perceptions of others,” said Cryer, STS’s 25-year-old vice president and co-founder. “I can defy the stereotype and set the standards for myself and others. I can be an exception.”

Calhoun and Cryer, who have known each other since their days at Ridgeway Middle School, were the exceptions as soon as they set foot on the University of Memphis campus.

One in 10 undergraduate students is an African-American man. One in 10 of those men will graduate in four years, and only 3 in 10 after six years.

The statistics are even more distressing nationally. African-American men account for about 4 percent of the total enrollment at four-year colleges. The percentage hasn’t changed in 40 years.

“That’s not just an African-American male problem, it’s a collective problem,” said Daphene R. McFerren, director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the U of M.

“Given the high percentage of African-American men in Memphis, if you don’t have these men prepared for 21st-century workforce, it’s not only bad for them. It’s bad for African-American families and white families and the entire community. We’re all connected.”

The institute is launching a new program this month to help the U of M’s African-American male students defy and improve the odds through mentoring, counseling and other forms of support.

The Hooks African American Male Initiative, funded by a FedEx grant, will be announced at the institute’s second annual gala Thursday. It will start with 21 of the 1,766 black male undergraduates enrolled this spring.

The initiative addresses one of the goals of President Obama’s 2014 “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge”: Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training.

Calhoun and Cryer both graduated from high school in 2008, the year Obama was elected president. Like Obama, they’ve been defying odds and expectations all of their lives.

Calhoun’s father spent time in prison. He got kicked off his high school football team. “I was defiant then, but not in a constructive way,” he said.

Cryer comes from a broken home and was heading down a self-destructive path. “I was getting in a lot of fights, just trying to act tough. I didn’t want to look weak.”

Both discovered other ways of being tough and defiant by becoming first-generation college graduates.

Calhoun graduated magna cum laude in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. He’s working as an IT Specialist for International Paper.

Cryer graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports & Leisure Management. He’s working as a Youth Specialists for the City’s Office of Youth Services.

STS was the result of a startup project they did for the U of M’s Crews Center for Entrepreneurship.

“They had a good business model, but what was so impressive was their motivation,” said Kelly Penwell, the center’s former assistant director.

“They want to help others and give back and they just believe it’s the right thing to do. If we could harness that ...”

Calhoun and Cryer are trying. STS has 9 volunteer mentors working with 13 young men in grades 8-12. The program includes job shadowing, service projects (including regular visits to nursing homes), and networking with local political and business leaders.

“So many boys need help,” said Cryer. “We’re trying to get them to eliminate excuses and help them see they have choices,” Cryer said.

Recently, they were mentoring a troubled middle-school student.

“We took him out to eat and he asked us, ‘Who’s paying y’all to do this?’” Calhoun said. “I said, ‘No one’s paying us. We don’t need money to do this. You’re important.’”

In Memphis, nothing is more important.

Contact David Waters at

2nd Annual Bringing Out The Leaders: March 26

Two University of Memphis graduates started STS Enterprise Corporation two years ago to reshape Memphis.

Now, the second annual “Bringing out the Leaders” event, hosted by STS Enterprise, to bring together students and city leaders to communicate with each other will be held at 6:30 pm on March 26th, at the University Center River Room on the UofM campus.

Many guests will attend the event including Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. All students from the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, Rhodes College, Lemoyne- Owens, and Southwest Community college are invited to attend.

The not-for-profit organization, STS Enterprise, was founded by UofM students Jeremy Calhoun who graduated in 2013 and Alton Cryer who graduated in 2014. Their company intends to build up college students and young people in the Memphis area.

Calhoun and Cryer responded to several questions:

C901: Why did you start STS Enterprise Corporation?

STS Enterprise: God literally spoke STS into existence. We have dedicated STS to him and we just want to make sure that we are good stewards and are managing the organization the way God want’s us too. STS was created a little over two years ago with a goal of making a positive impact in the lives of the youth here in Memphis and by emulating the change we wanted to see in our youth. As young leaders it is important that we give our young people something and someone to model themselves after, even after the camera is off and after we have clocked out of the office, they see a group of young that is walking the walk and talking the talk and having fun, being cool in the process. We simply want to be the “Spark that ignites the future” here in Memphis. We want to be that group that youth people can identify with and can see Setting the Standard as a way of life and an option for success in Life. We constantly hear people, friends, and family talk about how bad Memphis is or bring up what Memphis isn’t doing correctly and most of the time no one is doing anything about it. We decided that we didn’t want to just talk about some of the challenges, but that we wanted create solutions.

C901: What is the purpose/point of Bringing out the Leaders event?

STS Enterprise: We understand that networking with professionals and being connected with individuals who are currently working in the field being pursued by college students makes a huge impact on our college students. While you’re in college you hear friends and family as they send you off to network but never tell you how to present the opportunity for you to learn. We saw a need for our college students to get connected and we are seeking to meet that need. Bringing out the Leader does exactly that. Bringing out the Leaders is an event created to break barriers and open dialogue between college students and some of the city’s most prominent leaders. This event will not only serve as an opportunity to network, but to build long-term relationships and meet potential mentors. This event will serve as a bridge that connects our college students to some of Memphis’s top professionals and leaders.

C901: What are you doing to help Memphis?

STS Enterprise: We have four pillars that allow us to impact youth & college students here in the Memphis community.

  • Mentoring Program
    We understand that we have an obligation to expose our young people to the experience that we have been blessed to gain. Information changes situations and with the information we have gained we make it our duty to pour into the upcoming generation to continue the movement. The STS Mentoring Programs are designed to empower and motivate African-American men and women ages 12-18 in the Memphis community. We want to provide opportunities for our youth and teach them to exceed expectations, defy stereotypes, and create a mindset that is tenacious. This is the ONLY program in STS that is geared toward a specific demographic.
  • Community Outreach
    Understanding that one must empower to be empowered we made it our mission to give more than we received by spearheading and participating in several local community outreach events throughout the year. These volunteering efforts enable STS to give back to the Memphis community in a multitude of ways, plus it allows our youth, college students and other volunteers an opportunity to earn community service hours.
  • Bridging the Gap
    “Bridging the Gap” is a monthly community outreach event that unites college and high school students, as well as other local volunteers with the elderly. STS Enterprise has partnered with Wesley Senior Ministries and their Highland Meadows senior community to create an event that brings two very different generations together for a time of laughter and joy. Students spend approximately 2 hours with the residents participating in activities such as: reading, playing games (Board games, Bingo, Wii Bowling), talking, etc.
    The purpose of this event is to bring excitement and youthfulness to the senior community, while leaving each resident with a smile, a sense of love, and a feeling of appreciation. The experience is simply amazing both for the senior and the host of volunteers and community service hours are rewarded to participants as well.
  • Public Speaking
    This pillar allows us to motivate and empower youth and college students all over. This platform was started to vocalize the impact that we are looking to make and create an experience that can’t be matched. Our speaking styles exudes energy, passion, reliability and is so impactful that it will leave the students shouting our organizations motto:”WeDoThis”
  • STS Elite
    This is our initiative that focuses on directly on college students. We recently kick started our first chapter on the University of Memphis campus. Our goal is to provide them with the skills, resources, and network to make marketable and competitive post-graduation. With our college students, we conduct personal and professional development sessions, have speakers come to share insight on their careers, internships opportunities, provide mentors, and many more. We also give them an opportunity to develop themselves as leaders through speaking engagements and community service projects.

C901: What is STS Enterprise’s favorite part about Memphis?

STS Enterprise: Memphis is a small, big city; the opportunity to get involved and get connected is very realistic. You can see/feel your impact here in Memphis. Memphis is a city with a lot of potential and we are thankful that we have the opportunity to be a part of the change that will spark the future.

C901: Favorite place to go?

STS Enterprise: Our favorite place to go after work is Flemings for their happy hour menu! We enjoy several other places around Memphis but Flemings is one of our favorites. Another place we enjoy to go is Juvenile intervention Faith Based Follow-up (J.I.F.F.) which is located downtown in the old YMCA building. We enjoy talking with the young men and giving them a few words of encouragement and sometimes play basketball.

C901: Favorite thing to do?

STS Enterprise: Motivate and talk to youth and College Students. It’s a priceless feeling having the ability to share experiences, failures, successes, and knowledge that enable someone to use those things as a tool to empower themselves and others around them. There is NOTHING like it.

Garrett Pilgrim | Choose901



Doing good: STS Enterprise

Created in 2012, STS Enterprise is a mentoring program for young Memphis men. But rather than focusing solely on professional development or educational achievement, STS mentors work to help the mentees in all areas of life, from community outreach to public speaking.

The inspiration for the all-volunteer organization is simple: to empower and motivate youth to strive for excellence. And Co-founder Alton Cryer is, as the organzation's title suggests, "Setting the Standard" for excellence. He launched STS with Jeremy Calhoun in 2012 while still a full-time student. His long list of accomplishments reveals his personal quest for excellence, but Cryer wasn't willing to stop at just improving his own life for the better.

Mentoring young African American boys across the city remains the focal point for STS, and Cryer believes all that many young men need is a positive influence in order to confidently become leaders in their communities, start their own businesses and achieve their goals. "It's not programs that change people, it's people that change people," Cryer says. "Everything that we want to do, we want to be great at it. STS is not just an organization, it is a lifestyle."

For STS, mentoring doesn't stop in the classroom. The program actively involves the youth in their own communities. "The mentoring program is our main focus, and through our community outreach we are able to partner with other local organizations and give back to the community," he continues.

STS takes kids on college visits and to attend local events like the Ole Miss spring football game or a Grizzlies game at FedEx Forum. "The reason is to help them expand their minds and not see only what their neighborhoods can show them," he says. "They will see things on a bigger scale."

Being young has never been a barrier for Cryer, 24. In fact, he sees his age as an asset. "Our key element is the fact that we are young, and we use our age as a way to relate to the young people," he says. The eight-person STS volunteer staff consists solely of college students and recent college graduates.

Cryer himself will graduate in August from the University of Memphis with a major in sports and leisure management and a minor in communication, and he plans to seek his master's degree in non-profit administration.

The University of Memphis' entrepreneurship program helped STS pay for its charter and apply for non-profit status, which is in the process of being approved now. In the future Cryer hopes to possibly add a mentoring program for young women.
STS has been involved with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell Jr.'s annual golf tournament for the past couple of years, and STS also puts on its own volunteer event, called "Bridging the Gap," on the fourth Saturday of every month. "With our monthly event, we are trying to bridge the gap between senior citizens and young people," says Cryer, who works for the City of Memphis' ambassador program and is a graduate of Leadership Memphis.

STS recently teamed up with the Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club to work with Samaritan's Feet. "They wash the feet of young inner city children and put new shoes and socks on their feet," Cryer says.

The newest project for STS is called "Memphis Pride," a community clean-up effort. "We started with the 38114 zip code, and we not only focus on cleaning up the area but also on development. We will plant flowers, cut the grass and get the community involved in doing upkeep on other projects," explains Cryer, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Memphis and the Harold Little Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
Cryer has also been on the other side of the mentor/mentee relationship. For his own success, he credits mentors who helped him along the way. "I have a group of mentors who stood by me and molded me as a young man," he says. "Now I can help others and guide them on a whole new path."