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2015 Outstanding Black Male Leaders of Tomorrow Announced

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 26, 2015

For more information, please contact:

Cornelius Wright, Chair, City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males, corwrig@icloud.com

Beverly Calender-Anderson, Director, City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, 812.349.3430, cfrd@bloomington.in.gov



2015 Outstanding Black Male Leaders of Tomorrow Announced


Bloomington, Ind.
- The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males has announced the recipients of the Outstanding Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Awards. Awards will be presented at the Black History Month Gala on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College Ave. Awards are presented in two categories: High School and Adult.

The recipient of the high school award is Laurence "Malik" Laffoon. The son of Dennis and Rochelle Laffoon, Laffoon is embracing his role as an emerging leader at Bloomington High School North and in the community. He is a junior with a 3.3 GPA, who is lettering in both basketball and track. In basketball, he is leading the varsity team in scoring as a starting guard, with honors as a Herald Times Player of the Week and All Tourney Team at the Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament in Versailles, Indiana. In 2014, he hit the game winning, 3-point shot against New Albany to win the first Regional Championship for North since 2004. In track, Laffoon competed at the Sectional and Regional level in both hurdles and high jump. When he is not in competition as an athlete for North, he has been a Cougar Leader and is a member of the Student Athletic Board and the Empowering Team Leadership Movement.

Laffoon is also a tutor at Tri-North Middle School, a coach for the Hoosier Hills Basketball League Middle School Division, an Iron Man volunteer for the Roger's Parsonage Project and a member and youth leader for Guy/Girls Loving and Obedient Worship (G.L.O.W.) at Bethel AME Church, for which he also runs the technology booth.

Receiving the award in the Adult Category is Terrance Thomas. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Thomas gives credit to his parents and sports for keeping him on the right path growing up in an area of the city that was filled with violence and negativity. Growing up, Thomas' dream was to play pro football and to work with youth. As a result, he was a standout high school football player and earned a scholarship to play football for Indiana University (IU), where he was a four-year letter winner from 2007 to 2010. During his time at IU, Thomas volunteered with The Boys & Girls Club, Stepping Stones and Read Across America. After graduating from IU, he began working with Banneker Community Center in Summer 2011 as a Recreation Leader. Today, he continues to work at Banneker Community Center, now in the role of supervisor.

According to his nominator, "Terrance has worked faithfully in the key programs (at Banneker Center) and has proven to be a consistently available, dedicated and active supporter and advocate for the youth involved in them. Terrance is never not at work. Despite his status as a part-time employee, he works for our youth and teens around the clock. He is always making community connections, fielding parent phone calls and looking for resources to connect our students to a successful future. His choice to tirelessly and selflessly work for our community's youth and teens instead of pursuing higher pay or career advancement that he could easily find elsewhere makes him a perfect candidate for this award."

The Outstanding Black Males Leader of Tomorrow Awards were created to encourage the development of future leaders and recognize local contributions by young African-Americans. More information about the award can be found on the Commission on the Status of Black Males' website. Tickets for the Black History Month Gala are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., by phone at 812.323.3020 or online at BCTBoxOffice.com.

Laurence "Malik" Laffoon and Terrance Thomas join a remarkable group of past recipients of the awards, including Matt Herndon; Cordero L. Rhyne; Alvin Henry; Gerald L. Mitchell; Eddie R. Cole, Jr.; Rashawn Ray; Adrian Land; Aaron Barnes; Myles Adams; Burnell Grimes; Landon Jones and Gabriel Jones.

For more information, contact Community and Family Resources Department Director Beverly Calender-Anderson at 812.349.3430 or cfrd@bloomington.in.gov.


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