By: Wesley Martin
“One of the reasons I’m glad the 100 exists is because it provides resources and opportunities,” said Kendrick Meek, former U.S. House Rep. for Florida’s 17th congressional district.
Meek, who spoke at the 100 Black Men of Pensacola’s 15th Annual Beautillion last Saturday, said positive change is possible within the black community if its’ inhabitants are dedicated.
“We have to be consistent if we want a paradigm shift,” Meek said. “I think if we make the right decisions – at the right time – we can make strides as a people.”
Samuel Horton, president of Pensacola’s 100 Black Men, agrees.
“What we’re trying to do, as men who have succeeded in life, is find a way to reach back into the community and help someone else so that they have a good experience in life,” Horton said. “We look at issues like health and wellness, education, economic empowerment and most importantly, mentoring.”
According to Horton, Pensacola’s 100 Black Men mentorship initiative, Tomorrow’s 100 Leadership Development Program, serves as a rites of passage for black-male high school seniors so that they’ll be able to contribute a positive change to our society.
This year’s participants were: Robert Brandon, Pine Forest High; Timothy English, Pensacola High School; Talacy House, Booker T. Washington High School; Latrell Middleton, West Florida High School of Advanced Tech; and, Jamon Peacock, Escambia High School.
“The program really did help guide me into the right direction, especially with college,” Timothy English said.
English, 18, who was awarded a $1,000 scholarship on Saturday, plans to attend the University of South Florida. Notable sponsors for Saturday’s event included City Councilman Ronald Paul and City Councilman John Jerralds.
“The Pensacola chapter is in an era of rebuilding,” Horton said. “We are seeing a resurgence of men coming back and joining the chapter and wanting to be a part of our efforts.”
For more information on Pensacola’s chapter of 100 Black Men and their next mentorship intake, please visit the organization’s website at: 100blackmenpensacola.org.