Pistons host 13th Black History Month scholarship contest

DETROIT - Equality: What does it mean to you? That was question contestants were asked to answer for Thursday's Black History Month scholarship contest at Detroit Institute of Arts. 

"Equality to me in communal access so I wanted the crowd to be able to physically see and physically see how minority groups do not have access to resources the same way some people do," said grand prize winner Charity Turnboe.

Out of 10 competitors chosen from Detroit high schools, Cornerstone Leadership and Business senior Turnboe was selected to take home a $25,000 scholarship.

"I’m so excited, I’ve been working very hard," said Turnboe.

The event is hosted by Pistons legend Rick Mahorn. The scholarship money was donated by Pistons owner Tom Gores, Pistons Vice Chariman Arn Tellem, the Detroit Pistons Foundation and EMAGINE Entertainment. 

The panel of judges was made up by members of the Detroit community, including pistons forward Stanley Johnson.

"I’m really into arts and things like that and I think the kids work really really hard on the projects they get," said Johnson -- who returned to be a judge for the second straight year. 

With 55,000 worth of scholarship money being given away it’s obvious this competition means a lot to the kids involved, but the judges also take away something very valuable from the event.

"Just hearing it voiced in a different ways and stuff like that and taking…I think my favorite one was the Tupac one….Which I’m kind of big on that too," said Johnson.

“I’m impressed and I also learn a lot from the young…the youth of today. This is 13 years and I mean each year it gets better and better," said Mahorn.

It sounds like there are already big plans for all that scholarship money. When asked what she plans to do with the scholarship money, Turnboe said, "I'm not sure yet but I’m thinking about Pomona College or Georgetown University."

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