100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale Leadership Academy 2015 high graduates receive scholarship awards — Pictured: (l to r) Kevin Hilton, Angelo Senat, Mentor Norvel Bethel , Rushhard Gaskins, Joshua Davis, Justin Hamilton and Mentor Dennis Wright.
Former 100 Leadership Academy graduates receive annual scholarships — Pictured (l to r): Alex Speid, Mentor Norvel Bethel, Christopher Keel, Alexander Page, Julian Deese, Rushayne Shaw, Jarvis Hannah and Mentor Dennis Wright. Photos by Rinny Photography)
By Charles Moseley
The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale held their Sixth Annual Tire Kingdom Golf Tournament & Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Hello Sunny Scholarship Luncheon, June 13, 2015 at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, Fla.
The golf tournament and luncheon is the signature fund raising event for the local mentoring organization which provides scholarships for graduating high school seniors who have completed the Leadership Academy, a requirement for all scholarship recipients. In addition, former mentees now enrolled in college also receive scholarship awards annually for the duration of their college careers.
“Today we are having our Sixth Scholarship Golf Tournament & Luncheon. I consider this event our ROI or Return On Investment. The money that is raised here today through corporate giving and donations, we turn around and give it back to these young men in the form of scholarships,” said 100 President, Dennis Wright.
“The impact of this organization as far as growth is making the community aware that focusing on doing what we do and that is help a group of young men realize their dreams. And one of the dreams is just understanding that they’re capable of being successful and that’s what we do on a daily basis. We let these young men see us being successful and that breeds success. They tell their friends, their moms and dads how successful they plan on being and the next thing you know, the momentum continues to grow and prosper,” added Wright.
This year’s high school graduate scholarship awardees included; Joshua Davis from St. Thomas Aquinas High who will attend the Florida Institute of Technology, Justin Hamilton from Piper High who is pursuing a degree in nursing from Broward College, Kevin Hilton from Dillard High, who plans to attend Bethune Cookman University, Rushhard Gaskins, a graduate of Fort Lauderdale Prep who will attend the Universal Technical Institute, and Angelo Senat, from Dillard High who plans to attend Florida A & M University. Each of these young men received a brand new laptop, $1,000 scholarship award, and will also be tailored for suits as they go off to the next phase of their educational careers.
“The leadership program impacted my life by stressing the importance of education and financial management. They brought in multiple speakers which spoke on each subject. The speakers on education only helped me grind harder in school and the speaker on finance shared ways to manage, save and make more money. I am very appreciative and have truly been blessed to be in the Leadership Academy,” said Mentee Hamilton.
“The Leadership Academy has been a valuable, meaningful, memorable and important experience for me because I had the pleasure of establishing great relationships with not only my peers, but with a group of men who volunteer their time weekly and make significant contributions into our lives,” said Mentee Senat.
Former Leadership Academy graduates presently enrolled in college also receive their annual scholarship award. These included; Christopher Keel, Alexander Page, Julian Deese, Rushayne Shaw, and Jarvis Hannah.
100 Mentors Wendell Ford On-Air Gospel Personality WEDR/99 JAMZ was the Master of Ceremony, Attorney Quentin Morgan, chairman of the Golf Tournament & Scholarship Luncheon provided the Welcome; David Reece, Sr. did the Invocation, Jazz Saxophonist Randy Corinthian provided the entertainment, and Leadership Academy Coordinator Norvel Bethel presented the scholarships.
Former mentee and recent Savannah State University graduate with a degree in Marine Science, David Reece, Jr., was the Guest Speaker at the luncheon.
“Today means a lot. I am an original mentee, I just graduated college. It really means a lot because I’ve been through the whole process, since the start of school, it helped me and even at the end my mentors were able to come up to watch me graduate. I plan to work in aquaculture or anything to do with chemistry and the water,” said Reece.
Reece offered the following advice to high school students in preparation of furthering their education at the collegiate level.
“I would strongly urge them to attend the Leadership Academy sessions. The skills, the little things that you learn were huge. I didn’t see how much information I knew until I went to college. The little things like shaking hands and looking people in the eye; networking is key. Sometimes it’s not what you know it’s who you know,” added Reece.
Mentor David Reece, Sr. and his wife Sherry Reece are the proud parents of their son David, Jr. Mrs. Reece, along with her husband, shared in watching the transformation that took place by their son throughout his Leadership Academy experience and how it benefitted their son. She offered the following on what the event meant to her.
“You know, emotions are something that are sometimes hard to verbalize but I have a deep appreciation for the 100. They filled in where Mom and Dad left off; we do our part but there’s nothing like that outside influence of men who look like them; that know the struggle and can explain it to them, so I’m grateful to the 100 for preparing our son not only for college life but now that he’s out and entering the professional world it’s going to be his ‘brothers’, the men that help mentor him through that process. I see it as coming full circle. It started at seventh grade to college graduate, now the men will help him ease into his professional life and then he’ll turn around and do the same thing,” added Reece.
The remaining sponsors for the event included; Vitas Healthcare, Yokohama Tires, Accelerated Learning Solutions, Global Mobility Solutions, Community Education Partners, D&B Tiles, Teamsters Union, and State Farm Alexis Harris Insurance Agency, Inc.