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ETSF Awards Scholarships to Young Black Males

4/12/2017, noon | Updated on 4/12/2017, noon
Chicago native and former Quentis Bernard Garth (QBG) Foundation Scholarship recipient, Tenisha Taylor Bell is keeping her promise to send ...
Chicago native and former Quentis Bernard Garth (QBG) Foundation Scholarship recipient, Tenisha Taylor Bell awards South Shore International College Preparatory Academy senior and student-athlete DeShawn Thomas with The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship of $1,982, which represents the year Bell’s father died on the Southside of Chicago.

ETSF Awards Scholarships to Young Black Males

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

Chicago native and former Quentis Bernard Garth (QBG) Foundation Scholarship recipient, Tenisha Taylor Bell is keeping her promise to send more black males to college and fewer to the coroner.

The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation ETSF partnered with South Shore International College Preparatory Academy, located on 1955 E 75th St., for the Ezekiel Taylor ‘Stop the Violence’ essay contest, where high school male seniors were encouraged to write about how Chicago’s violence has impacted their lives, and how they plan to make a difference in their communities.

Bell traveled to her hometown to surprise the lucky winner of the essay contest, which was [student-athlete DeShawn Thomas], according to an ETSF press release.

“I want to thank the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation for choosing me as a 2017 recipient,” Thomas said. “When I found out that I was the scholarship

awardee, I was very happy, grateful and proud.”

Thomas, who is currently a South Shore International College Preparatory Academy senior, said it was a great honor to represent a foundation that has a distinct purpose of helping young African American males such as himself lead to better lives, make good choices, impact their communities and give opportunities to further their education.

As he elaborated on his essay that he wrote for the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship, Thomas fought back tears as he shared how Chicago’s violence has affected him and his family.

“When I first heard about the scholarship, it [shocked] me because of where I grew up at,” Thomas said. “I’ve lost family to tragic instances, but it was

something that woke me up. In January 2015, I lost two of my best friends to a shooting. So, I know how much it can really impact a family,” he said.

An excerpt from Thomas’ essay reads, “It is more than just going to school and playing on a few after school sport teams, socializing with my friends, eating lunch and dinner and then calling it a day.

It has to be much more than that. It has to be much, much more than that, as I attempt to rebuild the structure of my community…that is by the way one of the oldest standing communities in the world, known as the South Shore community.”

Bell said she was moved by Thomas and his essay and plans to be an instrumental figure in his college career.

“Often times in this community, we don’t celebrate our young men,” Bell said. “Unfortunately tragedy hits and it hurts, but we want young people to know that we love and believe in them and that we want to invest in

them.”

The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation was named after Bell’s father who was killed on the Southside of Chicago by three young men in 1982. The foundation strategically honors her father by awarding recipients with $1, 982 in scholarship funds, the same year her father passed away. Bell said the foundation will continue to identify young black male students who don’t qualify

for the “A” or “B” scholarships.

“This should be every young man in this city,” Bell said. “We’re going to too many funerals and we’re seeing too many shoot-outs, homicides. This is our future. This is who we should be investing in.”