Like a lot of little girls, Shaolyn Robinson dreamed of becoming a singer, “but I can’t sing now,” she says with a laugh. When she was in middle school she thought physical therapy sounded like a promising career choice, “but I really just liked the idea of the money, not the science,” she admits. It was when she took an early childhood education class her junior year at Dudley that she found her passion. “I really like teaching them, talking to them, seeing how they think; and I realized I wanted to be a teacher.”

Robinson started to take notice of the people who had inspired her along the way. Her first and ever-present mentor was her mom. “When I was in middle and high school, my mother went back to school. she always emphasized to me that education was important.” Next it was her teachers. “There were a lot of teachers in high school who really saw a light in me, and said to me, “you’re really going to be something someday; I want to see you blossom. Sometimes it was this light that they saw inside of me that I didn’t see inside of myself.”

When graduation day came in 2019, Shaolyn was ready to take the next step. With her mom, sister and school-family cheering her on, she applied and was accepted into North Carolina Central University. And when she left for school, she says she felt like she had some extra support from home, thanks to a Say Yes Guilford scholarship. “I thought, wow, it’s a whole team of people that believe in me and want to encourage me in my college journey.” She understood a whole community stepped up to make her scholarship possible.

Robinson isn’t done dreaming. She talks about graduate school and becoming a superintendent one day. “I know I have this support system behind me that will not let me fail.”

Say Yes Guilford encourages every GCS senior to register for the scholarships, and registration is open now through June 1 at

Say Yes Guilford continues to support our scholars in college and high school seniors applying for scholarships through phone calls, emails and via our website, Since its inception, Say Yes Guilford has awarded over $8.6 million to GCS graduates, and our partnership with over 100 private colleges and universities provided another $11.3 million for a total impact of over $20 million.

Say Yes Guilford is committed to providing access to support services and scholarships designed to prepare Guilford County Schools’ students for success in college, career and life.