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Scholarship banquet aids youth

11 Black Men mentor youth through teens

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POSTED: April 3, 2009 11:07 a.m.
Photo by Jimmy McSalters/

Charles Frasier, president of the 11 Black Men of Liberty County, presents a plaque to Dr. Daniel Wims, who spoke at the group's annual banquet.

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Georgia and Florida have more “available” black men for college than anywhere else in the country, yet many of them drop out of school before the age 15, according to Dr. Daniel Wims.
“In some districts more than 50 percent of them are dropping out. In other districts that number is 20 or 30 percent. It’s too many,” Wims said.
Wims currently serves as a professor of agricultural sciences and executive director for the office of academic affairs at Fort Valley State University.
On Saturday, he was the keynote speaker for the 15th Annual Eleven Black Men of Liberty County Scholarship Banquet at Fort Stewart’s Club Stewart.
“While many of us are driving nice cars, wearing nice suits, dresses and shoes, have the finest jewelry, have wonderful jobs … we have some real issues, right here in the state of Georgia we have some serious issues,” he said.
Those issues are the reasons Charles Frasier, president of the mentoring organization, gave the audience for why it is important to support his organization’s cause.
“We’re trying to make a difference in these young men’s lives, and we certainly hope that we are doing that. We are pleased with those who have graduated this year and have gone on to improve their education in the process. We look forward to supporting them. And we thank all of you for supporting us as we do that,” Frasier said to the more than 100 people present.
The 11 Black Men of Liberty County was incorporated in 1991.
Since then, the group of civic and government leaders, keeping with the group’s motto of “Let’s Pave the Way,” have selected a batch of 16 young men each year to mentor and nurture.
The “transcenders,” as the youth are called, range in ages from 12-16 and are given social and educational support from the organization until they finish college.
Scholarships serve as part of that support and Frasier said the proceeds from Saturday’s banquet could provide a little less than $10,000 in funds for the youth.
“We had a large turnout. We had about 250 people show up and it’s been a great event for us… We certainly hope that our young men gained something from it,” he said. “Because that is what it is all about for us, trying to improve the quality of life for our young men.”
This year’s transcenders are Jamahl Baker, Shakur Cook, Quran Chatman, Mermaine Mitchell, Nicholas Parham, Anthony Price, Nathan Dean, Khiry Frasier, Tevin Kelly, Tevin Smalls, Delvin Smith and Phillip Williams.
 

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