There’s no secret that children are the future. One organization here in Memphis believes that whole-heartedly.
Setting the Standard Enterprise Corporation (STS) is “dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of leaders” and since 2012, it has impacted over 7,000 students. Empowering the next generation is something that comes natural to the co-founders; something they see the value in.
“We are not doing it for the glitter and glam; we are doing it because it needs to be done,” vice-president and co-founder, Alton Cryer said. “We never gave up on it. We hope to be what God called us to be.”
Both Alton Cryer and Jeremy Calhoun fasted at the age of 22 for God and STS. They gave up smoking, drinking, sex, cursing and even video games for a life they wanted to walk in every day. Since that day, the organization has been successfully self-funded with no full-time employees.
So how has it made it this far with no round-the-clock staff? STS has help from over 85 young professionals including local attorney Corbin Carpenter who is STS’ board chair. This leadership development program focuses on two major programs called STS Strive and STS Elite. STS Strive caters to high schools while STS Elite caters to college students by connecting them to a diverse network, resources to excel and what Calhoun describes as a “foundation they can build on.”
“They were the first people to give me a suit, a mock-interview and they help me build my resume. They are the reason I got my first internship,” STS Elite student, Dwight Newsome said. “You don’t see people like them anymore.”
STS also has a marketing team and program development team that allows those young professionals who give their time to students an opportunity to grow. Through exclusive networking events, sponsored development training there’s a chance to be awarded, promoted and recognized.
“It’s extremely important to build your network and have those connects. There are professionals at every meeting,” previous student and now coach, Jazmyne Tribble said. “If it wasn’t for STS, I would be totally dumb-founded.”
With core values in being authentic, transformative and excellence, STS will continue building the next leaders here in a city that needs it the most.