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SUNRISE SCHOLARS

OUR STAFF

Ken Sommers, CEO

Hamilton College, BA Government, Georgetown, MBA

What do you love most about working at the Sunrise Scholars Foundation?

I love working at Sunrise Scholars because I get to think about college every day!  It is exciting and fulfilling working with scholars to map out a process that will culminate in a life-changing college choice.  I also love working with our staff and mentors because of their endless enthusiasm and unique perspectives.

Why did you choose your college and what was your favorite spot on campus?

I chose Hamilton College because it provided the traditional liberal arts education and the opportunity to play Division 3 football.  I also recall that Hamilton’s fraternity life seemed pretty important at the time. . .

My favorite spot on campus was the Bundy Scott Field House where I played endless amounts of hoops and cheered on the Hamilton Continental basketball team wearing a dog costume to get the fans in the Dawg Pound rocking!

Jacob Harding, COO

Flagler College, BA History, Harvard University, M.Ed.

What do you love most about working at the Sunrise Scholars Foundation?

First and foremost, I love working with our scholars. Every day when I hop on Zoom, I’m reminded of how many hard-working, talented, phenomenal young people are out there ready to make real and lasting changes for the better. I also love the field of college access and success; the landscape is continually changing, allowing me to be a lifelong learner.

Why did you choose your college, and what was your favorite spot on campus?

I was a transfer student to Flagler College. At the time, I searched for a school where I could genuinely connect with my professors and ask “why” as often as possible. I also wanted a campus where I didn’t have to define myself by one thing; rather, I could get involved in sports, music, academia, and still have time for a job (oh, and somewhere not far from the ocean was certainly a perk).

My favorite spot on Flagler’s campus is either the Dining Hall (you have to see the Tiffany glass windows) or just hanging out on the West Lawn. Truly, St. Augustine is essentially Flagler’s campus, and there is nothing better than walking down Aviles or another timeless street and losing yourself in the history and charm.

Sierra Dickerson, Director of College Success

Boston College, BA in Sociology

What do you love most about working at the Sunrise Scholars Foundation?

My favorite part about working for Sunrise Scholars is working with our students! We have hardworking, compassionate scholars who deserve every opportunity they are given and I enjoy cheering them on at each step. It’s also incredibly fulfilling knowing that we are doing our part to help fix the education achievement gap in America.

Why did you choose your college and what was your favorite spot on campus?

I chose Boston College mainly because of the financial aid package I received. However, I was also drawn to it because of the size – a campus of 10,000 seemed like a big enough leap for me to feel I was still growing, yet small enough to feel supported. I also picked BC because of the strong Alumni network – I wanted a school that would help support me even past my 4 years in school.

My favorite spot on campus is easily Alumni Stadium. While it was an incredible place to cheer on our football team through my 4 years. (go eags!) I also spent a lot of time studying, tanning and generally contemplating life there.

Adrianna Patacsil

Mentor

Hometown: Sarasota, FL
College: Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)
College Mascot: Bears

Kiarra Womack

Mentor

Hometown: Sarasota, FL
College: Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)
College Mascot: Bears

Elias Guzman Jr

Mentor

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
College: University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Mascot: Peter the Anteater

Tahj Lakey

Mentor

Hometown: Inglewood, CA
College: Yale University
Mascot: Bulldogs (Boola Boola!)

questions?

Learn more about college access issues that make the Sunrise Scholars Foundation’s mission so vital.