The Real Life 101 Scholarship Fund, a distinguished Metro-Detroit state-wide Scholarship and Mentoring Program with a proven track record of African American male college graduates, held their annual awards gala on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at MGM Casino Grand Ballroom in Detroit The 16-year-old program provides scholarship funding, mentoring, and educational – academic resources to black male seniors in high school. The non-profit awarded over 234 black male students with scholarships to help further their education, making a financial commitment over $300,00,00. Real Life 101 also provided laptop computers loaded with software, computer bags and access to more than 250 certified mentors for each Real Life 101 student. Stedman Graham, chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates delivered the dictation and Andrew Humphrey; Detroit’s WDIV- TV Local 4 Emmy Award winning meteorologist served as Master of Ceremonies.
From repeated deadly encounters with law enforcement officials to the seemingly unjust rising imprisonment rates, black men are often perceived habitually problematic. Detroit businessman and former Marine and Vietnam combat veteran Sid E. Taylor saw things differently and is actively working towards addressing the global issues facing black youth. Taylor recently partnered with Normandy high school in St. Louis Missouri, which is the former high school of slain teen Michael Brown to implement its program and help fight against black stereotypes. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer. Real Life 101 has enrolled 10 black male seniors from Normandy High School. On Thursday, May 21, 2015 10 students were awarded a five-year $5,000.00 scholarship totaling $50,000.00 in funding for furthering their education at a college, university or trade program. Students also received laptop computers software, a computer-carrying bag and a personal certified mentor with a total value to Normandy of nearly $60,000.00 from the Real Life 101 program. (Watch Normandy Video here: http://fox2now.com/2015/05/21/nationally-renowned-businessman-donates-scholarships-to-young-black-youth)
“It takes a village and we need to reinforce the village back in the lives of these boys,” said Sid E. Taylor. In order to make an impact, we need the funding support to “INVEST IN EDUCATION AND NOT INCARCERATION” and we hope that the GofundMe campaign will get us closer to our goal of expanding to every state in America by 2016. There is no cavalry coming to save the day in our black communities in America. We have the answers we are looking for and it starts right here with each and every one of us. We have to take action on the things that matter, and those things are our young black men! We have to start recognizing our young black men as true assets and not problems to be solved.”
About Real Life 101
Founded in 2000 by businessman Sid E. Taylor (Founder and Chairman of SET Enterprises, Inc.), and now in its 16th year, the program has invested over $1.5 million, more than 500 scholarships and more than 2,000 lap top computers to help young men get through college. So far, 65 students have graduated from colleges and universities all across the U.S. and 135 students are still in the Real Life program pursuing their degrees. Additionally 29 2015 graduates will receive Real Life 101 Scholarships bringing the total number of current scholarship students to 169. The Real Life program now serves 32 schools in 12 states across the U.S. with more than 260 dedicated professionals who serve as certified mentors to its program participants. Some of our graduates are now in Law School, State Police, Graduate School and more.