Rick Mahorn and the Detroit Pistons Foundation to Host 12th Annual Black History Month Event and Scholarship Competition

Black History Month Scholarship Event

Philanthropic Donations from Pistons Owner Tom Gores, PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation to Fund Scholarship Opportunities for Metro-Detroit High School Competitors

Pistons Legend Rick Mahorn and the Detroit Pistons Foundation will host the 12th annual Black History Month event and scholarship competition on Thursday, February 9 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The festivities begin with 40 students from each competing school taking a Unity-themed tour of the DIA galleries starting at 11 a.m., followed by the scholarship competition at 2 p.m.

The event offers high school seniors from Detroit and Flint the opportunity to compete for a combined total of $50,000 in college scholarships funded by Pistons Owner Tom Gores, PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation.

“Education is vital to the future of our community,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “One of my goals is to make an impact on young people. There’s no better way to make an impact than providing opportunities for life skills development and assistance for a college education.”

Each student will present an original interpretation of this year’s theme -- “Unity: What does that look like?”  through a chosen artistic medium of their choice (speech, poem, dance, rap, etc.), competitors will share their interpretation of what unity looks like from both personal experiences as well as past and current affairs. 

“Tom and I believe that the education of our youth is integral to building strong communities,” said PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem.  “We’re excited to be able to provide this scholastic opportunity.”

The 10 high school seniors from Carman Ainsworth in Flint, Cass Tech High School, Cornerstone Leadership and Business High School, Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern, Detroit International Academy for Young Women, Detroit School of Arts, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Loyola High School, Northwestern High School in Flint and University Prep Academy will be competing for the Earl Lloyd Award, a $25,000 college scholarship.  The first runner-up will receive a $15,000 scholarship and the second runner up will receive a $10,000 scholarship. 

“I am extremely grateful for the contributions of Mr. Gores, Mr. Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation to help continue this wonderful event,” said Pistons Legend Rick Mahorn. “In the last 12 years, we’ve not only been able to make an impact on many students’ lives, but had the opportunity to shed light on our country’s history and embrace all people of all races and religions as equals.”

The Black History Month event and scholarship competition began as the “Know Your Black History Tour” in 2005. Mahorn traveled to schools to educate youth on the importance of Black History then students would compete for a $1,000 scholarship.  The event expanded to a scholarship competition in 2009 at the Henry Ford Museum and was first hosted at The Palace in 2012. Since its inception, the event has provided over 55 students $217,250 in college scholarships.  This year’s total of $50,000 in scholarships is the second highest single-year total in the event’s history and will push the total number of college scholarships awarded to $267,250 and scholarship winners to 62.


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