Grand Gentlemen is a local nonprofit designed to uplift, encourage and inspire young men of color.
The group founded in 2014 officially became a nonprofit in 2019 and is already making a difference.
“I want people to look at young Black men and see success, and see ambition, and see somebody that can change the world and uplift their community,” said Korey Eakers, one of the founders of the group.
Grand Gentlemen host several events throughout the year. They have an annual coat drive and back to school drive. In February they hosted a suit drive and gave away over 150 suits to the community at Black Star Urban Culture Market in northeast Oklahoma City.
The group also host “tie days,” where they go to area schools to give neck ties and teach the young men how to tie them.
The group's latest venture was their Man of Honor event. They awarded $1,000 scholarships to 10 high school graduates.
“We are looking for young men that are full of ambition and positivity,” said Eakers.
The young men must also have a 2.5 grade point average and be involved in extracurricular activities and community service.
One of this year’s recipients of the scholarship was Ricky Harris.
“That will help me as far as purchasing things for my dorm,” said Harris. “I have to get a lot of stuff for my dorm. So, it’s going to help me out tremendously for all my stuff for college.”
In addition to the scholarship the young men also received a custom-tailored suit, as well as other gifts, but most importantly, a relationship with positive men in their community.
The group stays in touch with all the past winners of the scholarship.
“For us it’s all about, OK we believe in you enough to invest in you monetarily and also opening a relationship with these young men,” said Eakers.
Next year’s plan is to extend the scholarship program to the Tulsa area.
They are also looking for positive men as well as sponsors for the program.
Young men can start to apply for next year’s scholarship thru their website, here.