Trazon Mitchell recently graduated from Stokes Early College High School with a 4.7 grade point average, two associate degrees and an impressive $1,051,848 in scholarship earnings.
The teenager will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill this fall and plans to major in computer science.
Principal Misti Holloway said Mitchell has always displayed a maturity beyond his years with a quiet strength.
“Trazon is a hardworking, diligent, and respectful young man. He’s well-spoken and charismatic, and his classmates and teachers respect and value his input. Trazon’s Falcon family is extremely proud of him,” she said.
Mitchell decided early on that he wouldn’t take on college debt and worked to earn as many scholarships as possible. He credits Stokes Early College for helping him throughout the process, which can be an arduous task.
“They had us come in the summer before our senior year and really went through everything. They explained about the essays and the importance of recommendation letters and FASFA. Our class is a lot smaller compared to the other high schools and there’s a lot of one-on-one,” the teen said.
Mitchell appreciates the support and education he’s received from the early college, but said he was leery to attend his freshman year.
“It was definitely different, but they eased us into the college classes. I think the workload was probably more than traditional high schools, but I’m thankful I went and that my mom encouraged me to enroll.”
If it wasn’t for his mother, Mitchell said he wouldn’t have received a bulk of the scholarships.
“She was adamant I go after everything out there.”
When writing essays to prospective colleges, the senior detailed his mother’s extended bouts in the hospital and how her own drive inspired him.
“Things happen in your life and you learn from it and grow,” he said.
Mitchell knew he’d earned some scholarships, but it wasn’t until awards day that he found out it totaled more than a million dollars.
“It was crazy. There was a pause and no one said anything, which made me nervous,” he laughed. “I knew I’d gotten some (scholarships), but I didn’t know how much or that it was a record for the school.”
Through this, he’s realized the importance of keeping on, he said.
“I was frustrated in the beginning. I was working to get scholarships and nothing was coming in. I felt determined because I didn’t want to take on loans, but for a while, I wasn’t seeing the benefit.”
During that time, he relied on a tightknit group of friends.
“I think it’s important to have the right friend group. Sometimes, you feel this pressure to be with the cool kids, but you need to find people that have a similar mindset to you and push each other. My friends, we all had a drive that we wanted to have success. We were very competitive academically. I think that helped me do better than I thought I could,” he said.
Mitchell completed more than 500 hours of volunteer community service and spent time at elementary schools helping young students prepare for end of grade testing.
“I want kids to know there’s definitely a bigger world out there that you should explore. There’s more than Stokes County. You need to have some kind of drive and know what you want your end goal to be. Life will throw in things that’ll be different than your plan and it can be difficult, but you need to know where you’re going.”
Mitchell’s mother Tina said she’s extremely proud of her only child and hopes other youngsters in the area know that anything is possible, if you put in the work.
Looking at her son, she added, “He’s been through a lot, but no matter what kids are facing they can do what he did.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.