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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
Little Rock Nine Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Former President Clinton to Chair Little Rock Nine 50th Anniversary Scholarship Awards Gala in 2007
Gala Will Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Little Rock Nine
All Benefits to Contribute to the Little Rock Nine Foundation's Scholarship Fund
Little Rock, AR – Today the Little Rock Nine Foundation announced that former President Bill Clinton will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the integration of the Central High School in Little Rock by chairing the Little Rock Nine 50th Anniversary Celebration and Scholarship Awards Gala, to be held in Little Rock on September 24, 2007. All money raised by the Gala will benefit the Little Rock Nine Foundation's Scholarship Fund.
"We, 'the Little Rock Nine' are pleased and honored that President Bill Clinton will serve as chair of our 50th Anniversary Gala celebration. His commitment to education and equality parallels the Little Rock Nine Foundation's commitment to developing future leaders. The funds will endow students with a comprehensive mentorship and scholarship program," said Carlotta Walls LaNier, president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation.
On September 25, 1957, nine black children risked their lives to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. They later became known as the Little Rock Nine and have been widely honored for their historic act of bravery, including the award of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In 1999, the Little Rock Nine established the Little Rock Nine Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide direct financial support and a mentorship program for students to help them reach their educational goals.
At the 50th Anniversary Scholarship Awards Gala in 2007, the Foundation plans to award nine scholarships. Three scholarships will be awarded to students from Arkansas -- one at Central High School and the other two from poor performing schools in Arkansas. The other six will be chosen from poor performing school districts around the country.
In addition to scholarships, the Foundation will provide a comprehensive mentoring program involving members of the Little Rock Nine among others. As an essential component of the mentoring program, students who have been mentored will mentor other students, continuing the cycle of giving back to the community.