Meet The Scholar of The Month


Scholar of the Month: Demitri Swann


SARATOGA SPRINGS - In life, at any age, it often comes down to developing a plan. That alone can be difficult. But then, the bigger step is execution of that plan.

OT Swann (79) stands tall on the field for the SSHS Blue Streaks

Demitri Swann has had the plan part down for a while now, and is in the process of brilliantly executing it - making him Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar's (SSAS) Scholar of the Month.


Demitri with (L) Saratoga Springs High School Counselor (and his Freshman Football Coach) Matt Nelson


The individual achieves as a result of a team effort: support from family, teachers and coaches in this case. But the drive comes from within, and Demitri has exhibited excellence in the classroom (with a 95 GPA including advanced college placement courses) as well as on the gridiron during his years at Saratoga Springs High School.



Now a senior, Demitri already knows where he will be executing the next phase of his plan this fall - SUNY Brockport - where he will realize his dream of playing college football; but also working towards a biology degree that will put him on the road to his life's goal line: "I'm targeting going to medical school." Demitri says, in a serious tone - we've recently just met, but you can tell he's got serious down too!



Hard work also. He recently wrote an essay about a few external conferences he attended, which broadened, enriched, and brought him steps closer:

"Over the summer, I attended 2 national conferences. One was the National Journalism and Media Conference which was held at George Mason University and the other was the Future Medical Leaders of America Congress which was held in the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.

"At the National Journalism and Media Conference I toured historic monuments displayed in D.C. and had the luxury to hear from multiple famous journalists and highly ranked reporters. I heard lectures and engaged in discussions with journalists and reporters from CNN, National Geographic, White House Reporters, and etc. I got to stay in the George Mason dorms for a week and made friends with unique individuals from all across the country. I had a great time learning about a topic I wasn't much interested in at first and gained much knowledge from attending the conference. (Note: when we spoke, Demetri listed keeping up on current events as a primary interest.)

"At the Future Medical Leaders of America Congress I listened to many notable speakers including past Nobel Peace Prize winners and present influential medical leaders. These speakers were inspirational and guided me to finding my purpose in the medical field along with shaping my decision to enroll in a Pre-Med program for college. The Congress was quite enlightening considering all of the new topics we discussed that I had not previously known about and all of the new knowledge I obtained. I'm truly grateful for having the opportunity to attend this Congress."

In addition to a full boat of classes and conferences, practices and games, Demitri found the time, as an SSAS scholar to volunteer at several civic events and not-for-profit functions.


Volunteering at Saratoga Bridges' Great Pumpkin Challenge


On the gridiron, Demitri's coach's efforts are augmented to a great degree by supplemental workouts with his dad, Raymond - who himself was a player and coach in Pennsylvania. The results of that effort speak for themselves:


Front row - L to R: Sister Tiarah, Mom Danielle, Brother Treyvon. Back row - L to R: Father Raymond, Brother Brian, Demitri.


"Last Fall," Demitri noted, "I was honored to be recognized as Empire Division 1st Team Offensive Line for Section 2 AA. This award is selected by the coaches from the Empire Division in that section. The award is given to the overall best lineman in the Empire Division for Section 2 AA.

"The second award I received was the Leith Loffredo Scholarship Award which totaled to $1,000. The award is given in memory of a man who loved his life, his family, friends, and the game of football. Leith graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in 1996 and was recognized as an All-State two-way tackle for the Blue Streaks."

During all this, Demetri did everything he could to put himself in a position to maximize his considerable talents. A big step was learning about SSAS from his earth science teacher, as well as (at the time) freshman football coach Matt Nelson in ninth grade. "This program (SSAS) not only gives you a leg up in resources, it provides a structure for you to succeed," Demetri observed.

So if you happen to catch a Brockport game this fall, keep your eye out for this native son. You won't have to look too hard - he'll be the one standing tall.



Click here to view the enitire article at The Daily Planet Arthur.


Scholar of the Month: Cami Denning


SSHS Senior Counselor Brandy Crary with Cami.


SARATOGA SPRINGS - Here's five fast facts you need to about Cami, then we'll go deep:

  1. She's a future nursing student.
  2. Has a long and strong passion for volunteering, as evidenced by...
  3. Her membership and family involvement in the Salvation Army.
  4. Also, she's the Vice President of a club called Tog-A-Wareness.
  5. Add it up and Cami Denning is our Scholar of the Month!

...and deservedly so. My visits with Cami left me an impression of a serious, focused young adult - as distinguished from shy. She's long decided on her educational 'end game': To be a Pediatric Nurse. She's sitting on a few prestigious college acceptances, including Hartwick, LeMoyne and Robert Wesleyan in Rochester, with more to come.


Cami led this trip of a group of Sponsor A Scholar students to the Great Pumpkin 5k at Spa State Park.


Click here to view the enitire article at The Daily Planet Arthur.


Scholar of the Month: DeVaughn Berry

Originally posted on The Daily Planet Arthur, December 4, 2017




Standing out, whether it be in a crowd of scholars, or in pads and helmet on the gridiron, is the result of hard work. That is the commitment DeVaughn Berry - our Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar (SSAS) for the month of December – brings to the table each day. But it is enhanced with a joyful persona that is even larger. "I'm happy to see people smiling," DeVaughn said when recalling his favorite community service activity this year.

For more of this story visit:



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