Delaware State University honors Terrance Newton with scholarship

DSU Students Receive Scholarship Honoring Innovative Delaware Educator

Jaden Rivera was overwhelmed with emotions when he learned that he and another Delaware State University student were the first recipients of Dr. Terrance Newton Scholars – a scholarship program named after the alumnus of the university whose attitude towards education and students has earned it accolades as an innovative school and community leader.

“When I got the news, I sat on the phone with tears streaming down my face,” said Rivera, a 21-year-old physical education student. “The fact that I was able to make history by being one of the first recipients of this scholarship is something I am grateful to be a part of.”

The $5,000 scholarship was presented to Rivera and Jaron Hunt-Fletcher, a Seaford senior specializing in elementary education, last month as a way to “recognize and support young men of color who have chosen a career in education, following in the footsteps of Dr. Newton,” the university said in a Press release.

To qualify for the award, students had to be enrolled full-time at DSU and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0.

While the scholarship was a one-year grant given to these seniors this time around, DSU spokeswoman Pati Nash said the grant will be given to freshmen in the future and will be a multi-year award.

The scholarship was established shortly after Newton died after a motorcycle accident on March 18. He was 47 years old.

Who was Terrance Newtown?

Newton grew up on the East Side streets of Wilmington, where gun violence was something that found him twice — first in Wilmington when he was a high school freshman, then two years later when he and his friends sneaked into New York.

The second shooting was his wake up call.

NEWTON’S STORY: City street headteacher laments ‘lost generation’

HB du Pont Middle School Vice Principal Terrance D. Newton walks down the Wilmington aisle near where he was shot as a teenager.  His friend, Jamar Kilgoe, was killed at the Rose Hill Community Center on Monday.  “We lose people on the streets,” Newton says.

Although he said it was not easy to break away from this way of life, his mother – the late Marie Hammond – helped him stay straight. She was helped by others, including coaches, neighbors and police.

His mother forced him to attend Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, where a coach saw his athletic talent and convinced him to play football. There he became a star running back and learned the trade of plumber.

After graduating, his mother persuaded him to take a scholarship offered by DSU. He graduated from Dover College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology and became a youth rehabilitation counselor at Ferris School, a detention center for juvenile criminals. At Ferris, he decided to influence students before they ended up behind bars.

“I wanted to be in the prevention stage…to work in the schools and be more of a role model for these kids because I can relate to them,” he said in 2015. “I come from the same communities as they come. I understand the struggles they go through.”

Newton returned to DSU for his master’s and doctorate and worked in schools in Delaware and Pennsylvania until he became principal of Warner Elementary in Wilmington.

Although he was the school’s principal, Newton continued a program he started in 2005 by cutting students’ hair to show that he cared about their education and wanted students to be happy with their education. themselves and how the world sees them.

Warner Elementary Principal Terrance Newton trains student Brandon Ponzo on Monday, December 16, 2019 at the school.  The makeshift barber shop gives Newton a chance to bond with his students in a more casual setting and keep his students fit.

“When I was a kid, I learned a lot of things in the barber shop,” Newton told Delaware Online/The News Journal. “Just conversations, listening to people talk, listening to their opinions. That’s what I use with my kids here.”

NEWTON’S WORK:Wilmington principal uses makeshift barbershop to bond with students, one cut at a time

The school’s barber shop gained national attention through NBC’s “Kelly Clarkson Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightly News with Lester Holt.”

Newton would also keep tabs on students whose families were struggling, and around Christmas, would find ways to get them gifts and money for parents to help with food or rent. Help usually came from members of the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club, who rushed into the community to deliver their gifts to the children.

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Hunt-Fletcher, 22, called the scholarship an “honour,” saying he plans to honor Newton by helping the community.

“The knowledge I was able to gain about him really impressed me and got me excited about the scholarship,” Hunt-Fletcher said. “You don’t see a lot of African American men in the education system, so I really want to carry on his legacy and help the community in any way I can.”

Hunt-Fletcher, who is currently on an internship at West Seaford Elementary, is expected to graduate from DSU in the spring of 2023.

Terrance D. Newton believes in the need for a stronger male role model in the black community.

Rivera, who will graduate from DSU after the winter 2022 semester and is currently participating in an internship with the Lake Forest School District, said it meant a lot to him to receive this scholarship.

“Having my name in the same conversation as someone like Dr. Terrance Newton is an honor,” he said. “I am able to carry on his legacy he left as I recreate my own by trusting in the purpose God has placed on my life.”

Do you have any advice or ideas for articles? Contact local reporter Cameron Goodnight at [email protected], or by calling or texting 302-324-2208. Follow him on Twitter at @CamGoodnight. Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, [email protected] or Twitter @eparra3.

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