Staff Spotlight: Anthony Guyton

Anthony Guyton | Senior Manager of Post-Secondary Support and College Partnerships | KIPP Forward

KIPP DC takes immense pride in recognizing and celebrating the invaluable contributions made by members of our community. This summer, we are excited to shine a spotlight on the exceptional individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the excellence of our schools. In our latest feature, we are delighted to introduce Anthony Gutyon, our senior manager of post-secondary support and college partnerships, who is a valued member of our KIPP Forward team. Anthony’s upbringing spans both Missouri and Florida, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in African American Studies from Princeton University.

Motivated by a deep passion to tackle educational inequities and bridge the gaps in our education system, Anthony embarked on a career in the field of education. We recently had the opportunity to speak with him, gaining valuable insights into his journey at KIPP DC.

What does your role entail and how does it impact KIPP DC schools?

“In my role, I have a couple of key responsibilities. First, I provide guidance and support to students who have graduated from KIPP DC College Prep, Legacy College Prep, or our middle schools and have moved on to college or entered the workforce. I stay connected with them through emails, reaching out, and building relationships to let them know that I’m there for any questions or concerns, no matter how big or small. I aim to be a resource for them, whether it’s addressing issues on campus, navigating classes, or seeking assistance with financial aid. Essentially, I offer guidance, assurance, and help them build confidence as they navigate their college experience.

Secondly, I manage KIPP National’s partnership with Howard University. This means that I oversee the support and advisement for KIPP students who attend Howard University, regardless of which KIPP region they come from. This partnership allows us to provide in-person support and connectivity. By being physically present, we can offer additional resources and provide financial support when emergencies or unexpected needs arise. This partnership strengthens the support network for KIPP students at Howard University, ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed. By providing continued guidance and fostering a supportive environment, we reinforce the effectiveness of KIPP’s educational model and further empower our students to achieve their goals.”

What accomplishments at KIPP DC are you particularly proud of?

“One accomplishment that stands out to me is the development of the Howard partnership. When I first started, the partnership was still in its early stages. It was a rather ad hoc process, building things as we progressed. However, I take pride in the progress we made. We transformed a makeshift office into a consistent and reliable location where students could meet with us.

Additionally, I’m proud of the financial support we were able to provide to Howard University students. Through the partnership, there was $50,000 earmarked specifically for KIPP students. In my first year, we successfully distributed $40,000 to address any gaps, emergencies, or pressing needs. Ensuring that the funds were used to support the students for whom they were intended was a rewarding accomplishment.”

How does your job change between the summer and when students are attending school?

“During the second half of students’ senior year, my job shifts as we begin focusing on supporting them through the college and career decision-making process. Currently, our main priority is preventing “summer melt,” ensuring that students who were initially excited about attending college continue to complete all necessary steps throughout the summer. We provide continuous support, checking in with them, addressing questions about orientation, financial aid documents, housing, and any other steps required for a confident start to their college journey.

Our work revolves around maintaining connections with recently graduated seniors and helping them navigate the transition to college. We prioritize their readiness for day one, assisting them in completing essential tasks and ensuring they are well-prepared for the college experience. Throughout the summer, we remain dedicated to supporting them and ensuring a successful transition to college life.”

Given the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions, how do you anticipate the impact on your work, considering that we primarily serve Black and Brown students?

“The recent decision only reinforces the importance of our efforts. We continue to hope that colleges and schools will prioritize equity and find ways to support our students, while our focus remains on ensuring our students can access and thrive in educational spaces where they feel welcome and safe. Building confidence in our students is crucial, reminding them that they belong, that they have been accepted for a reason, and that they should not let external distractions hinder their goals, passions, and abilities.

The Supreme Court’s decision highlights the urgency of the work we do in supporting and preparing our Black and Brown students for success at the next level. It sheds light on the backward movements happening in various societal spaces. From an educational perspective, it emphasizes the importance of our role in pushing forward, providing resources, and being a reliable source of support for these young students. This decision has heightened the significance of our work, fueling our passion and excitement to continue pushing forward.”

With many of our students and staff enjoying summer break, let’s talk about vacations. What has been your best vacation experience?

“I was born in Florida but later moved to Missouri. After graduating high school, my family decided to return to Florida. My best vacation experience was when I had the opportunity to take my then one-year-old son to visit them. It was during Thanksgiving last year, and it held special significance as it was the first time my family met my son. The trip allowed us to reconnect after a significant period apart and served as a post-pandemic reunion. Overall, I consider that to be my best vacation experience.”

Anthony Guyton’s dedication and outstanding contributions as the senior manager of post-secondary support and college partnerships have made a truly exceptional impact on the lives of our students and alumni. We are immensely grateful for his remarkable journey at KIPP DC and the continued positive influence he brings to our school community and beyond.

Posted on July 17, 2023 in Community