The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth


Since our program is almost 20 years old, our alumni are doing all sorts of cool things. Keep checking back to learn about what all they are up to.

c/o 1998:

Keona Gardner. East High School. University of Missouri.

Katori Hall.


Graduate of Craigmont High School, Columbia University, the A.R.T. at Harvard University, and the Julliard School. Her play The Mountaintop received the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play. During its run on Broadway, Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett starred in the play. Her awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, the ARENA Stage American Voices New Play Residency, the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a NYFA Fellowship, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award. Hall’s journalism has appeared inThe New York Times, The Boston Globe, UK’s The Guardian, Essence and The Commercial Appeal, including contributing reporting for Newsweek. It was recently announced that Katori’s play Hurt Village will be turned into a film, with her serving as director and screenwriter.

Marcus Matthews.


Graduate of Westside High School and a two time graduate of the University of Memphis. Currently pursuing his doctor in Higher and Adult Education from the University of Memphis, Marcus is an author, teacher, basketball coach and executive producer of upcoming reality television show Single Moms of Memphis. In 2014 he received the Young Alumni Award from the University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Association. He has served as a reporter and sports editor for the University of Memphis’ campus newspaper, The Daily Helmsman; as a sports intern at the Birmingham Post-Herald and as an editorial assistant for The Associated Press as an editorial assistant. Matthews also interned with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies as a media relations associate and wrote for their website,, vfollowing an internship with the Commercial Appeal as a sports intern. He also served as Coordinator for the Teen Appeal for six years.

c/o 1999:

Dee Jones.

Alisha Tillery. Southern. LSU.

c/o 2000:

Erika Conley. Central High School. University of Tennessee. Memphis Theological Seminary. Teach for America.

Ebony Dawkins. University of Tennessee. University of Memphis School of Law. Criminal defense attorney.

Ashley Foxx. White Station High School. UNC Chapel Hill.

c/o 2001:

Michelle Diament. Ridgeway High School. University of Wisconsin. Cofounder of Disability Scoop, an online news site about developmental disabilities.

Benjamin Cory Jones. Central High School. Morehouse College.

c/o 2002:

Kristal Knight. Overton High School. Howard University.

c/o 2003:

Amber J. Adams. Whitehaven High School. UT Chattanooga.

Tara Stringfellow. Craigmont High School. Northwestern University.

c/o 2004:

Kenneth Cummings. Sheffield High School. Tennessee State University. Lead photographer for the Jackson Sun.

c/o 2005:

Melissa Kimble. Craigmont High School. UT Martin.

Artieka Smith. Craigmont High School. University of Tennessee.

c/o 2006:

Mya Donald. White Station High School. University of Tennessee. Memphis Grizzlies. New Memphis Institute.

c/o 2007:

Alondra Hunt. Melrose High School. MTSU. Finalist for competition to host BET’s 106 & Park.

c/o 2008:

Branden Asemah. Middle College High School. Bowdoin College. Associate Producer Bloomberg Television. Associate Producer Good Morning Memphis. Emma Bowen Fellow. Producer for Russia Today, based in New Delhi, India.

Erica Horton. White Station High School. University of Memphis.

c/o 2009:

c/o 2010:

c/o 2011:

Briawnna Jones. White Station High School. St. John’s University. Worked for Wendy Williams Show.

Carmen Scruggs. White Station High School. Michigan State University. Double major in meteorology and broadcast journalism.

c/o 2012:

Morgan Moore. Hollis F. Price Middle College High School. MTSU. Interviewed Soledad O’Brien.

c/o 2013:

Marica Bryson, University of Pennsyvlania (Wharton School)

Justin J. Pearson, Mitchell High School. Bowdoin College.

c/o 2014:

Sudeshna Barman, UC Berkeley.

Katyana Dandrige, Amherst.

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