Coming from a background like most first generation, high schoolers, Tamesha Hughes Frazier worked twice as hard to acquire the resources needed to further her education.
She had lofty hopes of going into corporate America and business as a CEO; but luckily, her mentors, whom were educators, encouraged Dr. Hughes Frazier to teach.
“But the funny thing about it, my mentors were educators; so, I was surrounded by that. As a result of having my second child, I wanted to be in his life. I wanted to see my children grow, and grow with them… I decided to become a teacher, and I went into the area of business technology.”
Deriving from Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Hughes located to Charlotte, NC after graduation, where she’s resided for twenty years. She taught CTE at Martin Luther King Middle, in addition to high school classes onsite as well as virtually… “Then I transitioned into Trio’s program, and that’s when Hughes Elite Scholars came about, after I was, um, I think I was at Livingstone (college) for six years over their trio programs.
"Trios is a federal program that was established in 1965, to help low-income first-generation students through high school and college, to get a four-year degree.”
Dr. Hughes saw an unprecedented trend in education where students lacked the fundamentals to enroll into college, and navigating through the real world where life happens for all adults, a lot. The teens and young adults in this generation don’t carry the basic principles and knowledge to sustain without failing forward more than they should, especially in problem solving/crisis modus, and that’s where Hughes Elite Scholars takes shape.
‘It’s the same thing with me, coming from Cincinnati, Ohio, on a one-way ticket with no parental support or parental knowledge of how this process works so I saw a trend in not just charlotte but surrounding counties where students’ parents just didn’t understand how to get their child from point A to point B in high school, let alone to even think about them going to college.”
Whether single parent households or jointly, the issues toggle backwards to first generation students. They are stuck in the matrix of graduating, but not knowing where to go from that point forward in applying to college, selecting the correct grants for their degree of choice, and choosing the programs in alignment with their capacities. There’s a lot of questions that trickle outside the public-school setting.
Dr. Hughes said that the "First Generation Student," is a requirement through the federal government when asked about the reasoning they only select and accept one category to enter the program though she does work with students, whose parents attended college.… “But it’s also a requirement of the agencies in some aspect,” she says, “Because, these students tend to be overlooked. We tend to assume a lot that they understand the process because a lot of times when you don’t know something, and you don’t come from a generation of that in your family, you don’t ask those questions. These families depend on the counselors and the schools. You know-- The old -school way of things. I send my child to school; the school is going to give them everything they need. Right now, we are looking at a crisis in the school system where it's overpopulated. They have four hundred to six-hundred students, to one counselor. Someone is going to fall in the cracks of that, especially those first-generation low-income students.
Hughes Elite Scholars Trios Program was established in 2019, and it’s a year-round non-profit, where there are different tiers for the student’s academia needs. The applicant becomes an apprentice-- he or she is mentored from as early as 9th grade throughout high school with the Upward Bound Program . The goal is to graduate the charged students with a degree/secondary education while leveraging that attainment for future vocations.
In 2022, students received 5.1 million dollars in scholarships. According to Dr. Hughes Frazier, the graduation rate through the Hughes Elite Scholars Program is 100%... “So, we have some bragging points about this program,” she proudly states. “It works, and it works because we build a culture centered around caring for the student and holding their hand throughout this education process.”
The second tier of the program is Pathways to Success. It’s a second chance, and an alternative program for at risk students.
Recently, Hughes Elite Scholars launched its 6- week summer enrichment program online, where children properly navigate between three weeks of virtual learning, Algebra, English, and general needs before returning to the onsite location for the remainder of the curriculum at 10150 Mallard Creek Rd #106, Charlotte, NC 28262.
Watch the video to learn more about Dr. Tamesha Hughes Frazier and the Hughes Elite Scholars Program below: