The Real Life 101 Scholarship Fund recently announced it has made significant progress. The Detroit nonprofit has made a financial commitment of more than $300,000 to 254 Black males. According to Sid Taylor, founder and chairman of Real Life 101, the funds were raised through donors and individual contributors.
The 16-year-old statewide scholarship and mentoring program has a proven track record of graduating African-American male students. The organization provides scholarship funding, mentoring, and educational/academic resources to Black male seniors in high school. It has also provided 250 certified mentors for each Real Life 101 student. “The fund was started to assist Black males with scholarships and mentoring,” says Taylor.
The latest funds, totally more the $300,00 will be earmarked for various projects in an effort to encourage your Black males to finish school and go on to higher education. “We want to invest in education and not incarceration,” notes Taylor. This was the major incentive for Taylor to launch the organization. He recently partnered with Normandy High School in St. Louis, Missouri, which is the former high school of slain teen Michael Brown, to start Real Life 101 there. (Brown was the 18-year-old unarmed Black man fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer.) So far, Real Life 101 has enrolled 10 Black male seniors from Normandy High and they were each awarded a five-year $5,000 scholarship totaling $50,000.00 in funding for furthering their education at a college, university or trade program. Students were also gifted with laptop computers, computer-carrying bags and mentors. In all, the program has invested nearly $60,000.00 to this one specific school.
Additionally, 29 new graduates will get Real Life 101 Scholarships bringing the total number of current scholarship students to 169. Currently, the Real Life program 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 the graduates are now in law school, have become part of the police force, and more.
Through its GofundMe campaign, Real Life 101 hopes to reach its goal. According to Taylor, their goal is to raise $1.5 million.