Entertainers LeVar Burton, KeKe Palmer, Niecy Nash, Tonex, and business executive, Kenneth Bentley, all received high honors at Educating Young Minds, Inc.'s (EYM) 9th Annual Scholarship Awards Gala held Sunday, July 1st, at the Airport Marriot Hotel in Los Angeles.
Founded 1987 by educator, Angeles Echols, EYM encourages at risk students to not only work hard but to also see the benefit of their efforts. To help bring home it's message, students are taught the EYM formula: desire + dedication + hard work = success. And at it's 9th Annual Scholarship Gala, the organization awarded those in entertainment and business that exemplified the EYM equation :
- Actor, Producer, LeVar Burton (Golden Apple of Hope Award)
- Akeelah and the Bee star, KeKe Palmer (Young Achiever Award)
- Actress, Comedienne, Niecy Nash (Chairman's Award)
- Grammy nominated Gospel Artist, Tonex (Artist Achievement Award)
- Nestle Corporation Executive, Kenneth Bentley (Humanitarian of the Year Award)
Believing in oneself, determination, and hard work were common themes among honoree acceptance speeches. Before receiving his award, LeVar Burton thanked his mother for instilling in him as a child a "can do" spirit and expressed to the large crowd the importance of defining one's sense of purpose.
The ultimate goal of EYM, a non-profit learning center, is to lift the "intellectual, emotional, and academic levels of its student body." Through one on one tutorial, referral, and counseling programs, the organization provides supplemental educational services overcrowded and underfunded school systems can not. To date, the organization has assisted over 2,000 students and their families. To learn more about Educating Young Minds, Inc. visit its website.
Pics from the event:
Front Row: Morris Chestnut, Louis Gosset Jr., Neicy Nash, LeVar Burton, Taraji P. Henson, Camille Winbush, Maeve Quinlan, Obba Babatunde Back Row: Omar Benson Miller, Bill Duke