Fort Wayne, Indiana (WPTA21) – A group of alumni of Black Concordia Lutheran High School is launching a scholarship fund for black students who wish to attend the school.
Members of the program called BLAST or the Black Alumni Scholarship Team say it means a lot to them to start this program and provide assistance to children who need it most.
“We know what our parents did for us and the sacrifices they made for us and we just have the opportunity for a broader and broader education, it’s such a pleasure to be able to come full circle with our kids and now with our kids I don’t even know,” said Michael Edmonds, president of BLAST.
Edmonds and other alumni came together to raise money to help black students attend Concordia. They will also provide them with guidance, resources, and other information to prepare for the future.
“Our group thinks it’s an important piece if you have diversity in an organization or in a school setting, so we just want to make sure that flow continues,” Edmonds said.
Another graduate, James Ridley, is excited about the opportunity to help other students receive an education at an institution that has meant so much to him.
“For me and being apart of what Mike and his team put together, it gives me an opportunity to suppose to share what my experience was like and how it made me a more like a person upon graduating from Concordia,” Ridley said.
Ridley graduated in 1975, and says that when he was a student there weren’t many minorities in Concordia at the time and the problem remains today. He wants to change that.
“I think it’s important to focus on minority students because they are usually not exposed to some of the things that they would be exposed to in a school with a Christian environment,” Ridley said.
Ridley says his goal is for the program to grow over the years to help future generations.
“That feeling as an individual that I get from seeing students come here comes back to them hoping to become more individuals so we wouldn’t say they don’t get these opportunities in other schools, but that definitely broadens that experience for them,” Ridley said. .