Baring Scholars, Inc., a 501 ( c) 3 nonprofit tax exempt organization has been in operation since 2014
providing mentoring support to college students in North Carolina. We are a volunteer based mentoring program that work with first generation students, aged-out foster care students and students with insecure housing. Our mentees are matched with mentors that are college graduates who knows first hand of what a college student may experience during their undergraduate years. In our effort to provide additional support, we provide care packages to our students each semester. The care packages include such items as snacks, toiletries and laundry items. Baring Scholars provide workshops and educational opportunities to our students that cover topics such as financial literacy, mental health and leadership. Our goal is that every student graduates with a reduced amount of stress and educational debt.
28% of students drop out before they even become a sophomore. Of the 72% who stay in college, 60% stayed at the same college where they started. The remaining 12% transferred to another college for their sophomore year.
The mission of Baring Scholars, Inc. is to reduce financial and academic barriers by providing resources and skills to college students.
Founder & Executive Director
Latonya Harrison, Founder and Executive Director of Baring Scholars, Inc., brings nearly 15 years of nonprofit leadership to Baring Scholars. Her experience fused with her passion for young adults and education has been the driving force behind the success of this rising organization.
Latonya has taken a direct part in nonprofit leadership by serving in several roles for reputable nonprofits that focus on families, children, and young adults around the country. Though invested in her career, participating in her daily job duties did not feed her soul as much as being hands on with
organizations in the community. Harrison made it a point to be as philanthropic as she could over the years. She has volunteered for Girl Scouts as a Troop Leader, Cookie Mom, and a Service Unit Leader for almost six years. It was with this early active volunteerism where Latonya knew that she enjoyed encouraging young people. From there she began mentoring many friends and children of friends into completing their education and/or starting small businesses. With a desire to do more, Harrison became a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters to a teenager. She enjoyed seeing her grow over the years, graduating from high school and then going off to college. For Latonya, it became a heartfelt journey to witness positive growth and positive results in this three-year time span.
Latonya has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Shaw University of Raleigh, North Carolina. As she began her career in the nonprofit sector, Harrison yearned to know and learn more about non-profits, which lead to her obtaining a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Capella
University of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Getting a degree, while life continued to happen, did not prove to be impossible for this Executive Director. Through perseverance and determination, she was able to make it happen and now aims to help other young adults shine their light and achieve their educational
Board of Directors
Angela Morrow is a Socialpreneur. She brings over 10 years of mentoring experience and a passion for supporting and encouraging students to reach their goals. Her previous career includes 20 years with Capitol Broadcasting in Sales Operations. As a member of the board, Angela hopes to use her past and current mentoring experiences to guide, support and advise BSI participants.
Angela served as an advisory board member for Project Catch (Community Action Targeting Children Who Are Homeless). While
there, her primary role was to fund-raise and bring awareness to
their mission through media.
Angela is a proud graduate of NC A&T State University, a family
legacy and tradition. She attributes her success to the support she
received from her parents. With the support of BSI, she knows students will begin their own personal journey of legacy, educational tradition and success.
Wanda Watson is a Financial Analyst at PPD, Inc. She has over 20 years of financial experience. As a member of the board, Wanda hopes to use her skills to help BSI mentees with their money management skills. She is currently working as the Treasurer for BSI and hopes to assist and develop financial programs for BSI mentees.
As a single parent, Wanda tries to constantly talk to youth about their education and their future. Also,
she tends to volunteer at the food bank and feeding those in need. Wanda will continue to help the
underprivileged and the needy.
Wanda achieved her bachelor’s in science from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She also has her
master’s degree in accounting from Strayer University. Wanda continues to set goals to better her life
and the life of others.
Emma Jean Bouie
Emma Jean Bouie is currently a board member for Baring Scholars Inc. As a member of the board, Emma hopes to use her experience of marketing and event planning in benefits of the organization. She is currently assisting with the Past Mentee Appreciation project.
Emma was on The Queen’s Foundation’s College Board Committee. She has volunteered for a handful of non-profit organizations since the age of 14. Emma also has volunteered as a mentor at East Carolina University, in efforts to help guide new students.
Emma is a first generation college student, currently pursuing her Master’s in Earth, Environmental and Geospatial Sciences at North Carolina Central University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Geology with a concentration in Coastal and Marine Sciences from East Carolina University. Emma’s goal is to receive a Doctorate Degree in Earth Science. As Emma continues her academic journey, she fully understands the complications and frustrations of having less support and guidance throughout one’s college journey. It is her hopes to give back to the community and pay it forward.
Francesca Bradshaw brings 20+ years of professional and management experience to Baring Scholars. She is currently employed full time with a nonprofit organization that provides Head Start services to children. As a member of the Board, Francesca utilizes her skills to educate new college students about the different types of support available as they matriculate at the University of their choice.
The knowledge and experience that she has gained over the years has given her the opportunity to explore goals and initiatives which will enhance the mission of Baring Scholars. She was involved early in the organization and worked hard with other Board members to assist in the preparation of care packages, participating in fundraisers, etc. to help it grow.
Finally, Francesca has a Bachelor of Science/Organizational Management degree from Saint Augustine University. She also has a Masters of Businesses Administration/Human Resources
Administration from Strayer University. Francesca knows that because of her love for God, her children, family and friends her huge heart has allowed her to touch and make a difference in the lives of many others. It’s an amazing and rewarding feeling to motivate, guide and support others as they succeed in life and she absolutely loves it!
Sheila K. Oliva
Sheila Oliva brings almost 30 years of experience in corporate communications and marketing to Baring Scholars, Inc. As a member of the Board, Sheila hopes to use her experience to educate new North Carolina college students and their parents about the numerous support systems in place to help ensure they successfully complete their four-year degree. She currently manages all social media communication for the organization and will continue to implement various tactics to reach out to additional students.
Sheila has sought to contribute her time to a variety of non-pofits over the years. As a mother, she has worked in various schools directly with students to help support them when they were struggling. She also worked directly with school staff and with the school system itself on various projects that supported the larger student population. Further, she has taken an interest in emerging technology in the areas of energy and transportation, and she has volunteered with organizations looking to educate people about these types of new developments. Finally, Sheila has always worked hardest for non-profit organizations that work directly, on a day-to-day basis, with those who need support. In this type of “on the ground” volunteering, she has worked with people ranging from students to the elderly.
Sheila has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Writing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She also has a Master’s in Corporate and Public Communications from Seton Hall University. She knows much of the fortune that life has brought her was due to her education and from the love and support of many people throughout the years. As such, she always tries to “give back” with the love and support others need to achieve their own successes.
Donate now to make a difference in a college student's life. Your financial support us will help us provide resources to our students each semester. Baring Scholars, Inc is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit tax entity; therefore, all donations are tax deductible.