he African American Hall of Fame Museum provided thirty-three (33) Peoria and Bloomington/Normal high school scholars with $47,000 in scholarship support. Scholarship donors committed to demonstrate commitment to excellence in education during the WTVP PBS Virtual Presentation on March 27, 2021 are heralded.
Founded in 1987, the African American Fall of Fame Museum (AAHFM), located in Proctor Center, was established by a team of visionaries led by William “Junior” Watkins. These pioneers recognized the need for youth and black and white citizens to hear the stories of African American challenges; to learn about the history of African Americans in Peoria and America; and for role models to work along with youth and others to make a difference by collaborating to produce results.
Peoria Scholars (Peoria School District and Quest Academy)
The mission of the African American Hall of Fame Museum is focused in two areas:
To identify and provide scholarship support to African American graduating scholars from Peoria District #150, Quest Community, and Bloomington/Normal Schools. Scholarship sponsors donate to the AAHFM and those funds are used exclusively to grant funding for scholarships.
To preserve and promote art, history, and artifacts that highlight African American achievements in our community and beyond. From 1988 – 2020 the organization inducted 231 leaders into the African American Hall of Fame. The plaques with the names of inductees are proudly displayed at Proctor Center and their biographies and photographs reside within the kiosk of the “Wall of Fame” at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.
Students who qualify have a minimum grade point average of 3.2, have demonstrated leadership activities in their school and the community, receive two recommendations from a counselor or organizational leader from the school or community, submit an essay about the significance of history and have been admitted to a university or college fall 2021.
This year’s scholars have distinguished themselves in multiple areas: many students are enrollees in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, inductees of the National Honor Society, recipients of the Best Team Player Award, captains of the football, baseball, basketball and the varsity track teams at their schools, member of the Peoria School Board, participant of the EMT/Fire science program to become a first responder, President of Student Advisory Committee, soloist for the Mixed Ensemble Choir, recognized as a Top Ten Student, volunteer with the Salvation Army, member of TRIO at Illinois Central College, Upward Bound and the Elite Program, co-founder of “Giving Voice” Magazine, Safety Captain Robotics All-Star, awardee Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, participants in Riding for a Safer Tomorrow, captain of the Scholastic Bowl, dual degree graduate from Manual High School and Associate of Arts Degree at Illinois Central College, volunteer Southside Community Center, participant in the Worldwide Youth Science and Engineering Program, member of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony, four year Dream Center tutor, Lincoln Senior Scholar Awardee, Big 12 Conference Scholar Athlete Award, Heisman High School Scholarship Awardee, Drama Club President, ACT-SO National Qualifier, and teacher Sunday School Eastview Christian Church.
For additional information about the African American Hall of Fame Museum and to view the WTVP PBS Virtual Presentation of the 33rd Annual Celebration…”A Virtual Presentation “Empowering Our Future Leaders”, go to aahfmpeoria.org