Chicago: Thousands Awarded To Black Males For Achieving Academic Excellence

The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation (ETSF) is awarding scholarships to 22 African-American young men, Sunday, July 25, 202
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Photo: Event Flyer

(Chicago, IL): The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation (ETSF) is awarding scholarships to 22 African-American young men, Sunday, July 25, 2021.

The ‘Yet, Still We Rise’ Scholarship Fundraiser, Gala and Silent Auction will highlight the academic achievements and success of young Black males in the Chicago area.

The event honors the legacy of Ezekiel Taylor who was robbed, and killed on Chicago’s Southside in the early 80s.

The gala, usually an in-person affair, is virtual again due to the Covid pandemic. “The pandemic has forced our students to survive, thrive and think outside of the box, and it has also caused our foundation to become more innovative and creative,” says Tenisha Taylor, daughter of Ezekiel Taylor and ETSF CEO. “These young men have survived a tumultuous year. From the public health crisis, to the cloud of Black on Black crime, to the Black Lives Matter movement, young Black men are traumatized on every level. Despite the negative news and societal constraints, we are celebrating the achievements and academic success of young men who are making positive life choices”, adds the former CNN Executive Producer.

‘Yet, Still We Rise’ is a one-hour production that celebrates the 2021 scholarship winners, and highlights their achievements. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Dennis Banks, annual donor and owner of C.F.K. Foods, Inc. “This foundation brings sight to these young men. ETSF places energy around a population in our community that is at risk, our young Black males are vulnerable and this organization gives them comfort food. By pouring into them, they succeed, and it changes the trajectory of their lives.”

ETSF celebrates its 5th year of operation. To date, it has awarded more $100,000 in college scholarships from a grass roots level. “This is an amazing foundation. I appreciate everything ETSF does in the community and I’m happy to be a part of it,” says Kyle Santillian, Radio Host WGCI-FM 107.5.

Besides financial support, the foundation conducts quarterly life skill programs for high school and college students. It also boasts a one-on-one mentoring program. “This will be my 4th year in the ETSF program and they are my family,” says Ezekiel Stevens, Morehouse College rising senior. “The organization does more than write checks, it supports my dreams, goals. Whenever I call to talk to a mentor or Ms. Taylor about life situations, they always come through for me.”

“Yet, Still We Rise” is sponsored by The Boka Restaurant Group. Boka owns 19 restaurants in the Chicago area, and is committed to the plight of Black males in the city. “We as a company want to do better by our people, better by the community,” says Michelle Herndon, Director of Diversity and Community Affairs. “My nephew was a recipient of this scholarship a few years ago. I saw how it impacted his life, and the lives of the other students, so I knew this was partnership that would be beneficial for Boka and the community.”

To watch the scholarship gala, visit the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation’s Facebook page, on YouTube and on the website: at 7pmCST/8pmEST on Sunday, July 25th.

To bid in the silent auction, visit:

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