Rainbow PUSH scholarship breakfast commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 15, 2024
Rainbow PUSH scholarship breakfast commemorates MLK
Chicago area Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations include Rainbow PUSH's scholarship breakfast.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Several celebrations across the Chicago area have been commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

One of those is an annual breakfast hosted by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

The 34th annual Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast with PUSH For Excellence took place on Monday morning at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago.

The PUSH Excel King Scholarship Breakfast event raises money for college scholarships. It also recognizes honorees for leadership and activism. One of those being honored was former Bulls player Joakim Noah.

PUSH Excel was founded, in part, by Reverend Jesse Jackson, and is supported by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

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The breakfast brought together many local leaders, community members and businesses throughout the area. It was a day to look to the future.

"If we don't save our children, we don't save our future, and our future is now. We save our children so we can give them a right to education which is a great equalizer," said Tyronne Stoudemire with PUSH Excel.

"Save our children" was this year's message. The event offered a chance for many kids in the program to show off their talent in front of those like Jackson and Mayor Brandon Johnson.

"It makes me feel like I am a phenomenal Black boy," said 7-year-old Bradley Holt.

Holt, 7, said that's the kind of unwavering confidence he wants other kids to feel. It's a testament to Rainbow PUSH, which has worked with organizations, like the United Negro College Fund, to help dreams come true.

"They're the reason UNCF does its work, so we can make sure they have the opportunities to go to college," said Fred Mitchell with the United Negro College Fund.

There, it's about continuing King's standard of excellence and the goal for 13-year-old Christiana Gray of, one day, becoming a lawyer.

"People need to know that you can change the world, so whenever I get to do that, it's just I get so happy. It's like a life goal, I would call it my assignment," Gray said.

She says changing the world is an assignment she wants every little Black girl to have.

"Know your history, know that you are loved, be confident and join Rainbow PUSH," Gray said.