Role Models Project gives scholarships to 134 deserving young Black men

caines | 5/30/2013, 5:30 a.m.

[gallery link="file" orderby="title"] Mentorship program marks 20th year assisting M-DC studentsAs the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project presented 134 young men with scholarships to assist them in their pursuit of higher education last week, keynote speaker Paul V. Wilson, Jr. reminded the audience of a prophetic saying attributed to Frederick Douglass: It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Wilson used Douglasss words as part of his message to the youth at the awards ceremony that celebrated their transition from boyhood to manhood. The event was held at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church where role model mentors, parents, political leaders and others from the community gathered for the 20th annual scholarship awards ceremony. The Role Models have rejected the notion that boys, especially Black boys, dont go to college, said Executive Director Tammy Reed. Tonight is proof that Black boys can succeed, will be productive and do go to college. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, the founder of the 5000 Role Models, said the evening was both exciting and difficult. Its hard to release these young men that I have known since they were boys out into a world filled with turmoil, she said. But we have helped to train and mentor them so that they will become good men in society not menaces to society. To date, over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors since 1993. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com