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2016 Young Memphian: Alton Cryer

The following is a feature in the Memphis Crossroads Magazine. Click here to view the issue in its entirety.

In conversations with this year’s Young Memphis honorees, the word “passion” comes up frequently. It’s something they all have in common, despite their diverse backgrounds, industries and interests.
The Young Memphians featured on the pages that follow are all passionate about making a difference – in their career fields, in their communities and, most notably, in the futures of the generations to follow them.
They all speak of their love for the city, their desire to help make positive changes, their hopes for a stronger, more united community and their beliefs that even the smallest gesture of goodwill can have a powerful impact on the lives of many.
While each one of them is striving to be highly successful at his or her career, they’re also each going the extra mile to use that success to make Memphis a better place.
So throw away everything you may have read about Millennials being uninvolved residents who want to obtain as much as possible by doing as little as possible and get ready to be inspired. These young professionals are only a few of the many dedicated young Memphians out there who have their eye on a brighter tomorrow.
Memphis, meet your future leaders.

Alton Cryer
Program Coordinator, Graduate Memphis
Alton Cryer knows how overwhelming the college experience can be for some teens. Cryer himself didn’t know he could apply for college online until a friend showed him how to do it. Once he got to Jackson State University and, later, the University of Memphis, he had to learn how to balance work and studies, navigate financial aid and other typical college experiences.
Today, as program coordinator for Graduate Memphis, Cryer organizes community-wide events to educate students on how to make the most of post-secondary education opportunities.
“I think everyone should experience college, and I want to be the one that helps them get to that place,” Cryer said.
Additionally, three years ago, Cryer and his friend Jeremy Calhoun co-founded STS (“Setting the Standard”) Enterprise, a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering Memphis youth through mentoring, community outreach, public speaking and college workshops focusing on personal and professional development.
Cryer encourages other young Memphians to find something that fuels them and take action. For him, his motivation lies in his love for the city.
“I love Memphis. There are many challenges here, but challenges present a lot of opportunities to grow and move forward,” Cryer said. “God made me, but my city helped mold me. It’s a privilege to give back.” 

Story by: Erinn Figg
Photos by: Troy Glasgow

Posted: 8/23/2016 10:58:21 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Alton, Crossroads, Cryer, Memphian, Memphis, Professional, Spotlight, Young

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