Background of the visionaries


"Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world." - Albert Einstein.

The Directors of Inspiring Students To Excel In Higher Education, LLC

Sheryl L. Smith - Founder/Director

Yolanda R. Durden - Managing Partner for Inspiring Minority Students To Excel Scholarship of SUA


The company was formed by two long time friends who attended high school together at St. Ursula Academy of Toledo, OH.  Their years have been filled with a passion for mentoring youth.


Yolanda Durden holds Degrees of Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Communication.  She is a native Mid-Westerner whose passion is in helping students to obtain higher education. Mrs. Durden is a married mother of two children. One child is enrolled on a full tuition paid scholarship and by their second year in college was able to obtain an internship within their career field. The second teenage child is college bound as well.  Her professional experience is extensive work with parents and students; primarily in middle school and high school.  She has helped to secure scholarships for hundreds of students over the last decade.  As a graduate of St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, Ohio; she feels her single gender, Christian - based school gave her the foundation to inspire others to succeed.

Sheryl L. Smith holds a B.A. Degree in Mass Media Arts (Writing for Radio, Television & Film).  She is a certified Public Speaker.  She is the proud Godmother to five wonderful children.  Her professional experience includes over 15 years of experience within Business Banking as a Financial Business Consultant to small business owners. Her clientele base consisted of more than 1,000 customers nationwide.  She has 20+ years in research, writing and mentoring.  Sheryl is currently a corporate volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta, GA.  She previously served as a Big Sister Mentor for 8 years to a young lady who is now a college graduate of West Georgia University.  Sheryl coordinates many volunteer programs ranging from teens to senior citizens.  She also has served as a Writing Mentor for high school seniors with the Boys & Girls Club of America.  She has also had the pleasure of being a judge for several youth talent competitions.  Often times she visits local high schools in Georgia speaking to Juniors and Seniors regarding applying for scholarships and participates in a number of community events for college bound students.  She actively is involved with her church mentoring program (Word of Faith) for college bound youth.  During Ms. Smith's high school years; she worked for the Toledo Public Library as a Library Assistant within the Social Science Department.  This work experience gave her the skills of research and locating scholarship books that assist students in finding scholarship money for college.  She has always had a passion for reading, writing and mentoring youth.  Ms. Smith has helped numerous students over the years to apply for scholarships.  She also gives credit to her Alma Mater St. Ursula Academy for helping to develop within her the passion and drive to help others succeed.


Together we stand as a team that serves a purpose to help empower students throughout the United States to take responsibility towards furthering their education.  We also stand together to show students how to utilize the resources that are out there to find scholarship money for college.  We're planting seeds of excellence so that each student who makes a commitment to be a part of our program; will take with them life lessons to prepare them for their future after the diploma has been received. 






 Inspiring Students To Excel In Higher Education, LLC


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