Los Angeles student Skyler Grey recently won a $10,000 scholarship and was chosen as one of two McDonald’s® 365Black® Community Choice Youth Award Honorees. (photo courtesy of 365Black Awards)
An East Los Angeles student has painted his way into a $10,000 scholarship. Skyler Grey, nicknamed the Fresh Prince of Street Art, has been chosen as one of two McDonald’s® 365Black® Community Choice Youth Award Honorees. Nominations for the Youth Award were submitted by the public as a way to recognize extraordinary teens in the community.
Grey has become one of the most popular young artists in the United States. He found his talent through drawing as a form of therapy to deal with the passing of his mother at the age of two. Though he has had no formal training, his work became noticed when attending an aerosol workshop at Self Help Graphics in East Los Angeles. Since then, Grey’s work has been exhibited in top galleries across the United States, as well as Switzerland, South Africa, and London.
“Southern California McDonald’s joins in celebrating the amazing accomplishments of Los Angeles’ own Skyler Grey,” said Clay Paschen, III, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC). “The 365Black® program falls in line with the work our local owners do on a regular basis to enhance educational opportunities for students in our local communities.”
Aside from his work as an artist, Grey is a mentor for other teenagers and kids at After School All Stars, a charity founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also is a partner with the lifestyle company and innovation studio, Iconic 32. Grey’s message to his peers, particularly who come from the inner city, is no matter what situations they face, they can succeed to unimaginable heights through art.
McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community, according to event organizers. This year’s honorees include: civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton; music executive and entrepreneur Kevin Liles; film producer Will Packer; inspirational leader Iyanla Vanzant; former NFL athlete Dhani Jones, and McDonald’s Owner/Operator Henry Coaxum. Additionally, Grey will be recognized alongside entrepreneur Gabrielle Jordan Williams as the first-ever McDonald’s® 365Black® Community Choice Youth Award recipients. McDonald’s® 365Black® Awards launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black® platform. The awards celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round.
Grey will get the opportunity to accept his award in person at the 365Black awards taking place Saturday, July 5, 2014 at the New Orleans Theatre in New Orleans, LA. The awards show kicks off at 10:00 a.m. You can tune in to the 365Black® Awards broadcast on BET Networks on August 10 at 7 p.m. PST. The awards ceremony will also air on CENTRIC on August 17 at 8 p.m. PST. Additionally, fans can follow @McDonalds on Twitter for updates on the awards show and join the conversation using #365BlackAwards.