First Alumni Scholarship
Giving back to those who helped him and those who follow him is something that Harrison Curry, a 2015 graduate of Legacy Early College Charter School in Greenville’s West End, has always had in mind.
During the 2020-2021 school year, he made good on that idea by creating the Harrison Curry Scholarship at Legacy. The initial recipient, Kameron Little, learned he had received the scholarship during his graduation ceremony.
“I’m honored to be the first recipient.,” he said, adding that the funding is a big help in covering some of the costs of the University of South Carolina-Aiken. Little, who had a dual enrollment at Legacy and took college-level courses, entered college as a sophomore and will be classified academically as a junior in January.
“We have lots and lots of scholars taking college courses,” said William Brown, founder and chair of the board at Legacy. He added that Legacy would like all its students to be dual enrolled, graduating with a full year of college courses under their belt.
Curry, 25 and the co-owner of Charlotte-based GTMM Transportation, said he wanted to give back to Legacy because of what it gave to him.
“Legacy truly inspired me and helped me get to where I am,” he said. The school staff “opened their arms to me. They believed in me.”
He also said the scholarship he received from Legacy “helped me survive in junior college.” Although Curry spent only his senior year at Legacy, he praised the school for preparing him for college and his future life.
Curry’s scholarship, the first created by a Legacy graduate, provides $500 a semester to the recipient and is renewable each year. He also plans to add another student scholarship every year.
“I will continue to grow it,” he said. “I got the idea by knowing there is a kid out there like me. I was in their shoes at one time. I wanted to impact their lives,” he said. Scholarship aid “is huge. It makes a big impact.”
Curry learned about Legacy from a coach and decided to follow his dream of collegiate basketball by enrolling at the school, which has a strong basketball program, his senior year.
B.J. Jackson, Legacy’s athletic director and head basketball coach, said Curry “was a joy to coach. He wanted to get better on the court every day” and challenged his teammates to improve. Although Curry has graduated, he and Jackson keep in touch and he often calls his coach on his birthday, Jackson said. “He always wanted to give back,” the coach said.
Brown said that he considers it unusual for a young person to create a scholarship, but he was not surprised at Curry’s decision. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s always cared about other people,” said Brown, who served as Curry’s mentor his senior year. All seniors are assigned a mentor because “we want to let every scholar to know there is an adult who really cares about them besides their family and their teachers.”
Curry said that after he graduated from Legacy, he attended Pensacola State Junior College in Florida and then attended Louisiana Tech University and the University of Detroit Mercy. He played basketball in college but retired from the sport his senior year and then picked it up again when he attended Siena College in Albany, NY, to work on his MBA. Although he has not obtained his MBA yet, he moved to Charlotte and opened his freight transportation company with a partner. Opened in May, GTMM now has four drivers.
While spending 70 days in COVID quarantine in New York, he spent his time researching prospective businesses on You Tube. He decided he didn’t know enough about some kinds of businesses to even try, but he became interested in the transportation business. He spent hours researching the various types of businesses dealing in transportation and picked the delivery of freight and packages.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 7 years old,” he said, adding he went door to door with his lawn mower to find customers. He wants his scholarship “geared to someone with a mindset like me,” someone interested in business and entrepreneurship.
“He is very intelligent, very caring,” Brown said. “He was a senior who had a solid set of values. He understood education was important for him.’’ Brown said that Curry has an unlimited future.
Curry wants to do more than provide needed funding for Legacy students. “I want to be a mentor to them,” he said, adding he has not met the first recipient yet. Little, who received the 2021 scholarship, is attending USC-Aiken, majoring in business with a focus in finance. He also plays basketball there.
In fact, basketball was the initial lure of Legacy, he said. “We had never heard of Legacy” until one of his coaches mentioned it. When he and his family toured the school, that was it, he said, adding he spent all four of his high school years there and graduated as the salutatorian.
“It was a good fit. It’s a really small school,” he said. “You have close and personal relationships” with faculty and students. And he said he hopes to find the same at USC-Aiken, which also is a relatively small school.
“Legacy prepared me for college,” Little said.