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Dr. Shelley Stewart Gives Message of Hope to The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem


Nearly 2,000 students learn the power of their choices

(BIRMINGHAM, AL) – Dr. Shelley Stewart returned to Harlem, NY, on Friday, May 9 to speak to the students of The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem as part of Eagle Week, a 360-degree strategy to help inner city young men succeed. Thanks to State Farm®’s partnership with The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, each Eagle Academy student experienced The Choice Bus during Eagle Week. The bus is a half-classroom, half-prison cell interactive mobile tool dedicated to reducing the dropout rate in the U.S.

Invited by the principal, Mahaliel Bethea, Dr. Stewart arrived at the Percy E. Sutton Educational Complex to speak to the Eagle Academy of Harlem students right before they boarded The Choice Bus.

“The students truly enjoyed The Choice Bus visit on Friday. Dr. Stewart gave an awesome and uplifting speech of hope and progress through education to more than 100 kids. The students gave an overwhelming applause and a standing ovation afterwards,” said Naomi Johnson, State Farm New York Community Specialist.

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation’s Choice Bus fleet has touched the lives of more than two million people in 20 states, sharing the powerful message of what an education can bring – at least $1 million over a person’s lifetime if they graduate from college.

Each school received a visit from The Choice Bus, the InsideOut Toolkit, the Learn2Earn booklet and “I Promise” to stay in school pledge cards and banner. A grant by State Farm provides The Choice Bus the opportunity to visit schools, along with Learn2Earn, a financial literacy booklet, and the InsideOut Toolkit, a DVD and companion Teacher’s Guide used in classrooms and community centers in 49 states and Canada and viewed by an estimated 15 million students and community leaders.

Several hundred Eagle Academy students and Kappa IV Middle School, also in the Percy E. Sutton building, boarded the bus outside of the school for the life-changing Choice Bus presentation. The Foundation received numerous requests from other schools and organizations in the area to return to New York in the future.

State Farm is a proud financial supporter of the work being done by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and is committed to help build safe, strong and educated communities by assisting nonprofits that support education.

Dr. Shelley Stewart, Founder and President of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, said, “I believe in spreading the message of the importance of education and good choices. I remember my first grade teacher, Mamie Laban Foster, telling me, ‘Shelley, if you get a good education and learn to read, you can become anything you want to be.’ That stuck with me over the years. If it made a difference in my life, then it can make a difference in others’ lives as well.”

To learn more about The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and The Choice Bus, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.