The Phoenix Scholars was conceived when Michael Tubbs realized that the success he was able to garner in the college admissions process was due in part to the free application consulting and mentorship. As a first-generation college student from Stockton, Michael was blessed to meet Carolyn Lawrence, a paid college admissions consultant who helped him build a college list, edited his college essays, and provided him with resources.
Motivated by his experience, Tubbs approached fellow Stanford peers who would go on to form the Founding team to create The Phoenix Scholars program.
Executive Director and Co-Chair of Development Committee
D’Shai was born a young, black male from a low-income, single parent household. His acceptance into the New Jersey SEEDS program, a program to prepare and equip low- income students to attend independent schools, initiated a new realm of chance. Having gone to predominantly black and Hispanic public schools in Northern New Jersey all his life, suddenly facing the reality of attending an elite, independent, predominantly white, coed boarding school in a suburban town in Central New Jersey was shocking. He entered this vastly different cultural and social environment with the confidence that he belonged there, and that nobody was going to make him doubt it, though. This confidence is what stood as the foundation for his successful career at The Lawrenceville School and his acceptance into the best school in the nation, Stanford University. His achievements so far, winning the NAACP’s Youth Service Award for excellent citizenship in his county, awarded a member of the Outstanding Volunteers at Lawrenceville (OVAL) Society for community service, selected as a Semans’ Family Merit Scholar for his leadership on Lawrenceville’s campus, being the recipient of the Robert Mammano Frezza Memorial Scholarship for embodying qualities of leadership and excellence, all exemplify his goals and confidence in leadership up until this point. His lifetime goals, obtaining excellence academically, socially, and monetarily, are all geared toward his pursuit towards success, and he looks forward to continuing this path at Stanford as a sophomore and beyond. He is a Management Science & Engineering Major and an Education Minor, and he hopes to go into business/finance after his career at Stanford, but there are still three more years to dominate and excel in before then. He didn’t necessarily rise through the ashes through grades or standardized tests but through exceptional confidence and leadership with a goal-oriented and grind-oriented mindset.
Co-Chair of Development Committee
Julia Enthoven is a sophomore studying Biology and Computer Science at Stanford. Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Julia became involved in education service and policy in high school, during which she served on the teen boards of non-profit organizations advocating for children, coordinated tutoring and mentoring programs for local middle schools, and worked as a teacher and tutor year-round in the Dallas public school system. At Stanford, she has continued to study education and education policy by taking relevant coursework, engaging in education policy research, and volunteering weekly with Stanford’s East Palo Alto Stanford Academy. In the summer of her freshman year, she worked as an intern in the Office and Research and Data at the New York City Department of Education, and has previously worked for Big Thought, a Dallas-based education non-profit. Julia’s passion in education as a civil rights issue is derived from an appreciation for the elite education she received and the supportive and stable home she grew up in. In addition to working for the Budgeting and Development Office for The Phoenix Scholars, Julia is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily, a research assistant for the Stanford Psychology Department, and an avid intramural volleyball player.
Co-Chair of Mentee Committee
While attending high school in a predominantly Latino area, Andrew quickly realized that the complexity of the college application process prevented many of his friends from matriculating into the best possible university. Frustrated by the perceived bureaucratic red tape, he began heavily researching the process and providing the information to underclassmen. These actions helped him extensively learn about the college application process and to contribute to The Phoenix Scholars. Currently, Andrew is a sophomore at Stanford majoring in History. While at Stanford, Andrew has been involved in a variety of extracurricular organizations, including the Stanford Wind Ensemble, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and Ram’s Head Theater Company.
Co-Chair of Mentee Committee
Ali is a rising sophomore at Stanford University and is a prospective Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity major with an Education minor. She grew up in Montebello, CA and first became interested in education after attending a small charter high school in South Los Angeles and realizing the great disparities and lack of education opportunity for minority, low-income, and first-generation students.
Outreach Committee Member
Jack Cook was born in New York City and raised for much of his young life in London, England. He attended private school in central London and throughout his junior and senior years in high school, he volunteered and taught at a state-funded school for the deaf- the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. It was here that his eyes were open to the disparities inherent in the state system and how many of the children at the deaf school he taught at needed a better shot at a future than what they had been given. Moreover he discovered a cultural sensitivity he had not had before; an appreciation of the struggle that disadvantaged families must go through on the basis of their circumstances. This appreciation was developed further during his time at Stanford University and in his freshman year he decided to dedicate his time to making sure that all young people receive the education, mentorship and guidance he was afforded so they can look forward to a bright future. He is currently working as a Co-Director of Outreach for The Phoenix Scholars and enjoys advertising the worth of the organization to promising high school students.
Chair of Outreach Committee
Jonathan is not suppose to be where he is today. He grew up in rural, poverty stricken town in South Carolina. He was raised in a destitute family, and during his childhood experienced the struggles of homelessness, lack of medical insurance, a host of other hardships associated with his low socioeconomic status. Academically, he was a late bloomer, he could not read until the age of 8, and he struggle tremendously with speech problems until he was well through middle school. He attended a Title I high school where academic success was unheard of. However, he was fortunate enough to have family members and teachers who provided him with a strong support system, which allowed him to strive for and achieve academic excellence despite facing difficult circumstances. In high school Jonathan played on the varsity basketball team, engaged in an advanced physics research project, founded a middle school math circle, and spent countless hours tutoring other students. He received offers of admission from both Harvard, and the place he now calls home Stanford. Jonathan is currently a sophomore pursuing a major in Urban Studies, and a minor in Education at Stanford. Since the beginning of his freshmen year at Stanford, Jonathan has been heavily involved with Stanford NAACP and the Phoenix Scholars. In the summer following his freshmen year Jonathan worked for the I Have A Dream Foundation in the New York Metro Area. His lifelong goal is to help less fortunate youth find success through educational achievement.
Farris Blount III
Development Committee Member
Growing up in Houston, Texas, a constant phrase was repeated to Farris: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Even though this statement is a common one, it has stuck with him from those early school days as a kindergartner to his current status as a junior at Stanford. Farris understands and continues to stress that his success and accomplishments are not due to his own merit. Rather, it was the collective sacrifice of his parents, friends, teachers, and others working behind the scenes that has allowed him to pursue his dreams. As a result, Farris is committed to giving back and serving as a mentor in the same way that others have done for him. In addition to serving on the Development Team, Farris also has a mentee in the program. Farris was also an RA this past summer for the LEAD Business Institute at Stanford, an experience that he cites as refueling his passion for working with students. He has traveled to Ecuador with Stanford’s Volunteers in Latin America (VILA) program where he volunteered at various daycare clinics performing a variety of tasks. At Stanford, Farris is a double major in International Relations and Communication and hopes to pair these two interests with this passion for mentorship in the future.
Development Committee Member
Oriekose “Orie” was born in Lagos, Nigeria but grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her family’s move to America was due in large part to better academic opportunity for her and her siblings. Orie attended a private boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts where she was inspired by her school’s motto Non Sibi, Not For Self. While helping elementary school students write poetry through the Breadloaf Writing Program throughout her high school career, Orie was reawakened to the disadvantages young students from underrepresents and challenging backgrounds faced in the academic realm. She found a great opportunity to make an impact in the lives of talented young students through The Phoenix Scholars during her freshman year of college. Orie is currently sophomore at Stanford University and is a prospective Management Science & Engineering and Chinese major. At Stanford, she enjoys being a part of the Stanford Steppers, The Flying Treehouse, and the Hume Writing Center writing tutor staff. Orie presently works as a member of The Phoenix Scholars Development team and is so excited to help grow the organization and enrich the lives of underprivileged youth.
Co-Chair of Mentor Committee
Torie is from a suburb just north of Chicago called Waukegan, Illinois. She grew up in a low-income, single-parent household and attended a high truancy rate, underresourced high school. From a young age, Torie was determined to be successful in life and make it out of Waukegan. She is now a senior at Stanford University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in African and African American Studies. Torie hopes to contribute to The Phoenix Scholars through her passion for youth development and empowerment.
I just want to invest myself in their success, support them, so they see that someone really and honestly wants to see them succeed. —