100 Black Men of the Bay Area Award Scholarship

>> Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reginald and Jahsiri

On July 31, I had the honor -- along with 29 other Northern California students -- of being awarded a scholarship from the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area at a program at the Oakland Museum.

The 100 Black Men awarded over $54,000 this year, and since the organization was founded in 1988, they've awarded over $1 million.

As I wrote in my scholarship essay, "To be honored and recognized by the 100 Black Men, leaders in education, government, and business, affirms my past achievements, present work, and future ambitions.

"I am one of too many young Black men who did not have active fathers in our lives... This scholarship says, 'You are appreciated. You have support. You are valued.'"

It was a great honor to receive a Young Black Scholar award from the 100 Black Men.


One of the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area I'd like to thank is Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, who wrote a letter of recommendation on my behalf.

I also would like to thank Saleem Shakir, executive director of Leadership Excellence, for also taking time out to recommend me for this honor. Incidentally, his ultra-talented son, Jahsiri Asabi-Shakir, pictured above, received the Willie Mays Scholarship from 100 Black Men.

I am fortunate to have men like Keith and Saleem in my life, and I am grateful for their kind words, the opportunities they've given me and the wisdom they continue to share from their life experiences.

Now, it is time to pay it forward, and continue to support other Young Black Scholars.

Photos: (a) Reginald James and Jahsiri Asabi-Shakir. Photo by Shontrice Williamson; (b) UC Berkeley student Galvin Mathis, member of the Collegiate Branch of 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, alongside Reginald James during the Young Black Scholar reception.



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