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A Bit of Background

Southern Scholars was established to honor the lives and legacies of Dr. Doretha Pressey and her beloved mother, Mrs. Clara Mae Coleman.  In addition to a sincere devotion to their families and a profound respect for the power of education, these phenomenal women also shared a commitment to giving back and to helping those in need, whenever they could.  It is for this reason that generosity and community service are central tenets of Southern Scholars’ mission.

Why 54 Days?

Dr. Pressey’s birthday was February 18th and Mrs. Coleman’s birthday is exactly 54 days away, on April 12th. 


What Are the Goals of This Challenge?

The most important goal of the #54daysofheartchallenge is to celebrate the legacy of generosity, goodness, and love that Dr. Pressey and Mrs. Coleman were both so well known for!  In doing this, we hope to inspire you – our friends, family, followers, and supporters to open your hearts and commit to helping as many people as you can in any way you can for the next 54 days!




There are so many ways to get involved!  Below are just a few ideas:

1. Share & Post

If you knew Dr. Pressey or Mrs. Coleman, or if you were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of their many many acts of kindness, please share your story or a brief message of gratitude or love with us by completing this brief form.

If you did not personally know Dr. Pressey or Mrs. Coleman, but you have been inspired by them or by the work Southern Scholars is doing, we also encourage you to share your story with us!

From now until April 12th, we will be highlighting these submissions on all of our social media channels, so be sure to check them often!

















2. Get a fabulous haircut from a celebrity stylist

The incredibly talented celebrity hairstylist and Southern Scholars Board Member, Ms. Sadé Williams is partnering with us to sponsor our very first Cut-A-Thon.  Ms. Williams is offering her signature haircuts at the deeply discounted rate of $75 until March 3rd.  100% of all proceeds raised from the cut-a-thon will benefit Southern Scholars.  Please click here for more details and be sure to make your appointment today! 

3. Donate

In honor of our #54daysofheartchallenge, we will be giving Southern Scholars signature heart shaped key rings to everyone that makes a donation of $54 dollars or more from now until April 12th!  As always, 100% of proceeds will be used to help create college access, equity, and success for students of color from low-income communities throughout the rural South.  Click the donate button to make your secure contribution now!



4. Spread the word

Help us spread Dr. Pressey’s and Mrs. Coleman’s message of love and generosity by telling your friends, family, and colleagues about our #54daysofheartchallenge and about the work Southern Scholars is doing. Don't forget to use the hashtags #54daysofheart or #54daysofheartchallenge on Social Media!

5. Lead with your heart

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for the next 54 days we challenge you to let your heart take the lead in all you do.  By doing this you will help us honor Dr. Pressey's and Mrs. Coleman’s legacies and hopefully spark a much-needed change for the better in our world.


If you have any questions about our #54daysofheartchallenge, please contact us at 803.200.1910 or


Thanks for submitting!

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