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NBA Foundation announces $75K grant for MKE Fellows


On the first day of Black History Month, one local nonprofit received a life-changing gift to inspire the next generation of African-American men.

The NBA Foundation Wednesday announced a $75,000 grant that will help put young African-American men through college and bring them back to Milwaukee to make a difference.

The money will go to MKE Fellows, a group that provides mentorship, scholarships, networking opportunities and so much more to young African-American men in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee native Nathanael Washington knows firsthand just how important the Milwaukee Fellows can be to African-American men. He recalls his experience in high school.

"I had really good grades, thought I was killing it, then I joined the Fellows and saw, he wants to be a neuroscientist, he has a patent pending for an electric bike," Washington said.

That experience changed his entire mindset.

"It pushed me to excel in what I was doing because I see everyone else doing it," Washington said.

Washington now works for the organization that serves hundreds of students each year. John Daniels III, Milwaukee Fellows' executive director, says every penny of the $75,000 grant will help kids in college.

"A $50 key deposit can keep somebody from going to school, so we try to meet those emergency needs," Daniels said.

At Wednesday's announcement, some of the Bucks' minority owners explained why this grant means so much, and how they hope to be an inspiration.

"I came from that poor, single teen mom household, so they see if I can do, it they can do it, too," said Bucks minority owner Cory Nettles.

"It is what I really would define as life-changing for so many young fellows," said Bucks Minority Owner Valerie Daniels-Carter.

And Washington hopes this grant will show these young men they are worthy.

"To have the NBA behind your program just adds another level of legitimacy. Highlighting those voices shows them that it's important enough to invest in themselves," Washington said.


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