Gregory’s mom Shawnette recalls how her son eagerly waited to attend Horton’s Kids tutoring when he was seven: “He saw the bus pull out, said ‘Mama, the bus is out there!’ and ran outside. His face just lit up. Horton’s Kids was a safe haven that I trusted, and Horton’s Kids was a major part of the village that helped Gregory become who he is. Everything he did was because he had opportunities presented through Horton’s Kids.”

Attending Horton’s Kids was Gregory’s first extracurricular activity that led to many other firsts, including going to summer camp and learning Japanese from his tutor. In middle school, Gregory enrolled in KIPP DC, a high-performing, college-preparatory charter school that Horton’s Kids recommended to Shawnette. “They pushed me to limits I would have never done,” Gregory said. “If I can coast, I’ll find a reason to coast. At KIPP, there is no coasting.”

Now a confident young man, Gregory still loves learning and is determined to work hard. This summer, as he headed into his sophomore year at Fisk University, Gregory continued to set ambitious goals. Academically, he set the bar high for himself: his 3.55 GPA from freshman year seemed “mediocre,” and he wanted to do even better. Outside of classes, Gregory serves as a senator in the student government and, this year, is getting an opportunity to create a constitution for his school. He is also working to become a mentor to local high school students on issues related to college life and financial aid.

Gregory has high aspirations for life after college with plans to pursue a career that will either lead to becoming the U.S. Attorney General or starting his own nonprofit to benefit underserved communities.

“Horton’s Kids helped me value service to people who don’t look like you or come from the same place as you,” Gregory said. “It made me feel like I can give back, and it doesn’t have to be only to my community. I have to make myself knowledgeable enough to help.”