INDIANAPOLIS – McDonald’s of Indiana and Southwest Michigan continues to recognize high school seniors who are making a positive impact in their communities. In February, the McDonald’s Owner/Operators honored 15 youth, nominated by their teachers, with a $1000 ‘Black History Makers of Today’ Scholarship.
The ‘Black History Makers of Today’ program is a way to celebrate Black History while recognizing young men and women who exemplify McDonald’s values of entrepreneurship and community involvement.
“It’s about raising up black youth that are finding their own balance. They are role models for other students,” said Laurie Henry, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in Indianapolis.
The program aims to illuminate true leadership. “We just love to have the winners be noticed for community efforts, not just grade point average,” said Gary Eley, an Indianapolis McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “These are future McDonald’s owners, they embrace incredible responsibilities,” added Eley.
The recipients were recognized for things like volunteering in their neighborhoods, helping with their family needs, tutoring younger students, or taking on a job after school to save for college or help the family.
Through its ‘Black & Positively Golden’ initiative, McDonald’s Owner/Operators highlight all things positive in the culture and focus on stories of truth, power and pride. “We hire directly from our neighborhoods,” said Mya Smith, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in Indianapolis. “This program also helps bring positive economic opportunities to the neighborhoods. It helps us help the communities get youth engaged in education, empowerment and entrepreneurship.”
50 years ago, the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association (NBMOA) was dedicated to ensure African American McDonald’s owners fully engaged in the benefits of operating a McDonald’s restaurant. “Today, the NBMOA remains the largest organization of established Black entrepreneurs in the world; 11 of them are here in Indianapolis and Central Indiana,” said McDonald’s Owner/Operator Pam Poore.
The ‘Black History Makers of Today’ Scholarship recipients in Indiana and Southwest Michigan:
- Ashton Brown – James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy, Indianapolis
- Nia Dooley – Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis
- Elisha Gamble – Pike High School, Indianapolis
- Janiya Garner – Victory College Prep Academy, Indianapolis
- Tayler Jones – Herron-Riverside High School, Indianapolis
- Shariah Miller – KIPP Indy Legacy High School, Indianapolis
- Sakiya Walter – GEO Next Generation High School, Indianapolis
- Keenan Nichols – Smith Academy for Excellence, Fort Wayne
- Amoni Ridley – South Side High School, Fort Wayne
- Itoro-obong Udoh – North Side High School, Fort Wayne
- JaKeila Walton – R. Nelson Snider High School, Fort Wayne
- Nicholas Dudley – Riley High School, South Bend
- Petrice Moses – Clay High School, South Bend
- Amiyah Reynolds – Washington High School, South Bend
- Madison Collins – Benton Harbor High School, Benton Harbor, MI