Although he did OK in school, Corey O’Rane-Ealy recalled, he didn’t make grades for the honor roll until he was a sophomore or junior. The drastic improvement coincided with when he began to meet a contingent of local black businessmen through the GZBF. After a few discussions, O’Rane-Ealy learned just how hard some of the most successful had worked in school. He learned, quite frankly, that he needed to step up his game if he wanted to go to college.
“I started off kind of rough … but getting the encouragement and guidance to work hard, that was part of it; it kind of brought it home, to see how real and how competitive it is out there,” said O’Rane-Ealy, who, as a 9th-grader, was selected for the GZBF’s local mentorship program, LAMP. “They’ve done a great job in mentoring us and teaching us how to compete in the academic world in order to achieve everything we want. Some of the people we met showed us how hard they’d had to work to get where they are now.”
This year, O’Rane-Ealy was one of seven students in the LAMP Mentor class of 2018 from the Greater Pasadena area who graduated from high school recently and received more than $30,000 in scholarships toward college. The success of the LAMP Mentor Scholarship luncheon made headlines