SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - For more than 33 years, the Shreveport-Bossier-DeSoto African American Scholarship Awards Banquet has been providing scholarship money to students headed to college.
Katie Latin is the founder of the organizer and she believes every child deserves a chance to get a college education. Her son, Ken Latin, says the scholarship money helps defray the cost of education for the students. However, the big fundraiser will not happen in 2021 because of the pandemic. The mission remains the same though: to raise money to make a difference.
“We are sending out letters now letting our sponsors and people who support and come every year, let them know we still need scholarship money. Students are still going to school during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is a dark time in our country and world, but students still need help. We are getting calls, a lot of parents who are laid off or they are working part-time or their hours have been cut, so we need scholarship money now more than ever before,” Ken said.
Each year, the scholarship awards banquet celebrates Black history by honoring ten individuals from northwest Louisiana who have made significant contributions to the Black community.
“Each year, we try to get a keynote speaker who is a first in their profession. Of course, there are lot of African Americans in the State of Louisiana and of course we focus on northwest Louisiana and we have gotten speakers all over the state. That is really what this organization is about for the past 33 years,” Ken said.
Katie is a product of DeSoto Parish and attended college at Southern University, LSUS, and received her bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Louisiana Baptist College with a concentration in Christian counseling.
“She knows how important it is. She has three children and all of us went to college and grandchildren who did the same, so she really believes education really makes a difference in being successful in life,” said Ken.
Organizers look forward to holding the scholarship banquet in 2022. It’s always held the second Saturday in February.
If you would like to make a donation:
African American Scholarship Awards
9216 North Southland Park Drive Shreveport. LA 71118
For more information:
Ken Latin 318.422.0876
Tax ID #72-1510323