Each scholar shadows a Black businessman to learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur and leader in his own community. Through Financial Literacy Workshops with Industrial Bank, President B. Doyle Mitchell and their mentors, scholars will develop solid understanding of banking, trading, building an investment portfolio and opening a savings/checking account. Each Scholar will have an opportunity to experience live trading with real money from their bank account with their mentor and understanding Wall Street and Fortune 500 companies. Each mentor will commit to $4,000.00 each year. The mentor does not have to supply all $4,000 at once. In addition, each mentor can ask their business associates within their network to support his Scholar with donations directly to the Scholar on the website. $2,000.00 will go to the program to support the cost for each Scholar to be in the program. From college tours, workshops, clothing, grooming, books/supplies, transportation and to help off set the cost of college tuition. $2,000.00 will transfer from the Scholar's Program and go directly to the Scholar's bank account. A bank account is established for building the Scholar's Financial Portfolio, along with fundraising incentive opportunities amount his group. The money will not be issued to the Scholar until he reaches college. Then it can be used for college expenses. When entering college the Scholar's 4 year mentor will continue working with him and his portfolio and advise him on how to keep his bank account in tact. The goal is to teach each Scholar the importance of learning how to create wealth in the Black community, and to see how his money will grow if it is invested and not touched over a number of years. Each Scholar will understand how to secure a loan and establish good credit at a young age.

Book titled The Making of a Black Scholar

The Book & Authors series is a year-round program. Each month Scholars will preview a new book written by a Black author. Over time, we will preview all types of books. They will participate in guided discussions chapter by chapter led by a different Scholar each month to enhance leadership skills, the ability to engage in critical thinking, and participate in team building exercises amongst their cohort.

Scholars will have an opportunity to meet the author of the books they read within the month upon completing each book. Scholars will participate in an up close and personal discussion with the author and a formal book signing. We will ask authors to donate their book to the Scholars to keep as they build their library of books. Some Scholars will have 12 books and others will have 48 books to add to their library. From the Books & Authors Series, Scholars will develop an appreciation for the arts and writing techniques; as they begin to network professionally they will know how to speak in public with confidence and great character.

Our goal is for every Scholar to enjoy reading and understand what they are reading. Scholars will be encouraged to look up in order to enhance their character. Mr. Bryant will prepare the Scholars through reading and writing exercises on how to properly write an essay. All essays will be critiqued and discussed. The best essay will be recognized each month. This will transform our Scholars as they begin to prepare for college and having to write essays to be accepted to college and applying for scholarships.

SAT/ACT preparatory sessions will be provided by Kai Ouyang of VVV Academy based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Kai Ouyang is very successful in SAT/ACT and advanced math skills. He will incorporate math with SAT/ACT prep in a rigorous year-round program. Our Scholars will have an opportunity to reach their highest potential for higher learning. To gain the knowledge provided by Mr. Ouyang the Scholars will meet with him quarterly in Washington, D.C., and weekly by video conference. Scholars will be given a workbook and assignments weekly. All of our Scholars will complete Calculus and AP core subjects before graduating from high school.

Based on theory, with several degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology, Mr. Ouyang believes the ACT is the best college admission test for African-American high school males when preparing for college, and will provide consistent exercises and practice. He believes the SAT is more of an IQ test, but guarantees higher scores on either test if our Scholars are willing to prepare, focus, have a desire to learn and follow his instructions. Mr. Ouyang feels a year-round session is necessary. This way each Scholar will attain the information and not lose it over a long period of time. Based on several studies when a student is removed from his environment and taught for a number of weeks over a short period of time they may grasp the information but they do not retain the information months later. Summer break from high school it is imperative that education is reinforced in core subjects.

This is a 6-week summer enrichment program, for males of color, in STEM and Communications with a weekly curriculum starting in June 2017. It will take place on the campus of Howard University. Within 5 years, the program will expand to 5 major inner cities. The field of STEM lacks diversity, and over the next 10 years it will expand and need competitive young professionals, who are educated and have experience to make a difference in our rapidly changing world. Through this program, we will teach our Scholars and other high school males who apply to the program.

The program will have 7-hour sessions Monday–Friday, similar to if the students were working a full-time job. They will discover their potential and put it to use with hands-on experiments, workshops, and lecturers with Black scientists from NASA and the National Institute of Health. STEM students from Howard University will use their knowledge and expertise to help instruct the program.

Communications will also be focus of the program. In order to bring our young men full circle as great thinkers, we will help them develop the tenacity to speak publically in a professional manner. This program will be hosted by the Ambassador Horace G. Dawson Scholars, instructed by professionals, and sponsored by partners and supported by DC government Summer Work Program for DC public and DC Public Charter High Schools.

Executive View


The Ambassador Horace G. Dawson Scholars program has come to fruition and is making tremendous strides with its first cohort of 14 African American male Scholars from D.C. Public and D.C. Public Charter high schools.

We launched with our first Black Male Summit in September at the Historic Howard Theatre, where we welcomed over 200 high school males to listen to a panel of eight young professionals from Washington, D.C., with Jayrick Haynes of NASA as the keynote speaker. We have designed four core programs, SAT/ACT Prep, monthly workshops and three annual fundraisers for our year-round Scholars Program to include entrepreneur mentors to support each Scholar as they prepare for college.

Our upcoming Wine Dinner Fundraiser at the French Embassy on 6/18 will help offset college tuition for our first three seniors attending Morehouse College and New York Institute of Technology. We look forward to you visiting our website and discovering ways to support our young Scholars through volunteering, scholarships, becoming a sponsor or offering a generous contribution.


Lelia Pray
Founder & Executive Director

"You cannot lead the people if you do not love the people. You cannot save the people if you do not serve the people." - Cornell West

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