You Can Truly Help Others When You Understand the Value of a Good Education: the Story Behind the Keith and Keely Man Scholarship for Professional Achievement

Nelson Mandela once said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

When you consider that this comes from someone who did eventually change the world in many ways, it’s an even more powerful statement. In addition, many young people that come from disadvantaged backgrounds can relate to many of the struggles Nelson Mandela went through and the ideals he stands for.

George Washington Carver once said that,“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”

For many young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, it’s easy for them to feel trapped. Many of their parents worked hard at careers they didn’t really care for just to make sure they had what they needed.

In addition, many young people like this have never seen a real life example of someone going to school and then entering a professional career. Though people do it every day, unless you’ve seen it happen; it’s hard to imagine; especially when it seems like the odds are stacked against you.

Many young people:

-Experience peer pressure discouraging them from trying, “too hard,” to succeed,
-Have to work jobs to support themselves, their families or even unplanned children,
-Feel uncomfortable in environments different from the ones they grew up in, especially more conservative environments, and
-Don’t understand the college application and financial application processes

Under conditions like this, college can be overwhelming for a young person. However, Keith Mann wants to change that feeling for as many young people as he can.

In order to achieve success, Mann has learned, throughout his career in executive search, to quickly identify strong leaders that will improve the success of a company. Mann uses that same skill to identify graduate talent in Uncommon Schools. Every year, he helps send the most promising young professional to college. Hopeful students must submit a 1000 word essay telling Keith and Keely Mann how the scholarship and the college education can help them to achieve career success in the future.

Throughout their life, Keith and Keely have enjoyed philanthropy and have been strong advocates for good education. Uncommon Schools Nonprofit Charter Management Organization’s goal is to prepare low income students well, so that they will one day graduate from college and move into professional careers.  Follow Keith on Twitter, Vimeo and Facebook to stay up to date on his philanthropic endeavors.

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