How does the idea of a $40,000 college scholarship strike you?
Pretty attractive, right?
Well, that’s not pie in the sky. It’s an honest-to-goodness, rock-solid promise by the longest-standing, most generous sponsor of the 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend: Mike Leep Jr., president of the Gurley-Leep Automotive Group.
At our 2019 Gala, Mr. Leep announced on behalf of his family that they were committing to offer a four-year scholarship, worth $10,000 per year, in each of the next ten years for “young men who have been impacted by the 100 Black Men of South Bend.”
That vote of confidence in the 100 and in the young men we attempt to serve is a tribute—and a challenge. The challenge was heightened by the pandemic that began a mere three months after Mr. Leep made his announcement.
Freedman Academy, the 100’s principal mentoring program, was severely crippled during our year of isolation. Conducting sessions online was a poor substitute for the face-to-face contact and mentoring that our men provide and our boys appreciate.
But we are back!
Starting in September, we will return to having in-person sessions at our usual meeting place, Harrison Primary Center. We have been busy recruiting new students and preparing new activities, including at least one field trip each month.
Freedman Academy is the main gateway to that “impact” by the 100 that Mr. Leep spoke of in his gala speech in 2019. It is the gateway to that $40,000 scholarship.
If you have a son or a young neighbor, friend or family member who might benefit from regular contact with successful black male role models, please get in touch with us. Call the director of the academy, Oliver Logan, at 574-261-7796.