- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WELLSTON, Mo. (AP) - Students at an eastern Missouri high school will be offered scholarships to three historically black colleges in honor of Michael Brown, who graduated from the high school just days before he was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer.

The 11 scholarships, announced Monday at Normandy High School, will cover four years’ tuition at three schools operated by black Methodist denominations, which wanted to do something to show students that the religious community was concerned about their futures, said the Rev. Jamal Bryant of Baltimore.

The 18-year-old Brown, who was black, was unarmed when he was shot and killed Aug. 9 by a white police officer from Ferguson, prompting protests that have spread across the country to denounce police treatment of black people.

Bryant said church leaders meeting in North Carolina last month lamented that the religious community has not been deeply involved in the movement, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/1Bj0l4d ).

“This is a young people’s movement,” Bryant said. “We figured the best way to help support that was to educate them.”

Brown’s parents were sitting with church leaders when the scholarships were announced. Their foundation, Michael Brown Chosen for Change, is working with the denominations to award scholarships to Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama; Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia; and Texas College in Tyler, Texas. The denominations offering the scholarships are African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion and Christian Methodist Episcopal.

“The way we deal with this situation is we breathe life into you,” said George T. French, president of Miles College. “We believe in you, Normandy High School seniors.”

Students were told the scholarships would target those who want to go to college but wouldn’t have the chance, rather than only top students.

Ahniya Gilmore said she’ll apply. “Some people don’t get the opportunity for scholarships,” she said. “It tells us that we can make it.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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