NORMANDY, MO (KTVI) - Over $50,000 in scholarship money and laptops loaded with software were awarded to graduating seniors at Normandy High School on Thursday. All thanks to a donation from a prominent African-American businessman.
Sid E. Taylor, a former Vietnam veteran, built Detroit steel company SET Enterprises into a top 10 African-American business, and is now focusing his energies on young black youth.
“It is paramount that there is hope (for them),” Taylor said.
Government statistics indicate one in three black males born in America will go to prison at some point in their lives. Taylor is trying to change that, one young man at a time. He chose to give scholarships at Normandy in honor of Michael Brown’s life. Michael Brown Sr. showed up to encourage the award recipients.
On this night, 10 young men received $5,000 scholarships, as well as a professional mentor for the next five years, based on 1,000-word essays written about how they would change the image of African-American males in America.
Taylor’s Real Life 101 Scholarship Fund will continue to provide opportunities at Normandy every year going forward.
And although his organization is helping kids in 12 states, Taylor believes he’s not making a big enough difference due to the size and scope of the problem.