August 29, 2008
08-148

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

100 Black Men Pledge Scholarships for VECA Grads

VALDOSTA - Members of 100 Black Men of Valdosta announced today the organization's pledge to provide scholarships to the top 50 percent of students from the inaugural graduation class of the Valdosta Early College Academy. The presentation was made at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, in the lobby of VSU's Education Center.

Roy Copeland, spokesman for the group, also announced a pledge to provide three scholarships per year beginning with the graduation class of 2015. The awards will be provided annually from the 100 Black Men of Valdosta Scholarship Endowment Fun to deserving individuals based on academic performance and financial needs. While the scholarship amounts have not been set, Copeland said he expects them to initially be around $1,000.

The Valdosta Early College Academy is a school within the Valdosta City School System in partnership with Valdosta State University. Students are nominated for admission based on standardized test results, attendance and teacher/principle recommendations. By the end of 12th grade, they can earn both a high school diploma and up to 60 semesters hours of college credit. Students will also complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service each year.

During the presentation Friday, Copeland formally announced the pledge to the sixth grade students in the VECA's first class. He and the members of 100 Black Men of Valdosta fully support the efforts of VSU and the Valdosta City Schools as well as the mission of VECA. By providing scholarships, they are doing their part to ensure these students remain successful even after graduation.

"We didn't want these students to be in a situation where they reach the place VECA intends, but then have too worry about finances," Copeland said. "This is a commitment with a plan to ensure they have what it takes to reach their ultimate goals."

A local chapter of the international service organization, 100 Black Men of America exists to serve under-privileged youth in the Valdosta area, instilling lasting values and promoting education. E-mail Copeland at cwlaw02@bellsouth.net for more information about the organization or its scholarship pledge.