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The powerful impact of mentorship


Carlton Highsmith and James Brockington met in 2009, the day that James was awarded the Edward A. Bouchet scholarship from Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity’s Promising Scholars fund. The scholarship enabled James the opportunity to attend college, the first in his family to do so. An exchange that day turned into a lifelong connection. James credits the mentorship he received from Carlton as the catalyst to change his career trajectory. “I don’t want to minimize the scholarship, but what was just as important was having you meet and interact with those professional men that afternoon,” Carlton tells James.

James Brockington co-owns the Tia Russell Dance Studio, a dance education program primarily servicing Greater New Haven. Carlton Highsmith is the founder of Specialized Packaging Group and a Community Foundation for Greater New Haven board member.


Hear their full interview on StoryCorps, recorded in 2021.

For more, visit StoryCorps CT