Bishop Blakes recognized the importance of higher learning and diligently worked to ensure that the opportunity is made available to young people who have a desire to excel and the potential to succeed, regardless of economic background or lack of resources.
The vision of the R.C. BLAKES, SR. Scholarship Fund is to inspire new generations of underprivileged students to see higher learning as a real possibility. The goal is to encourage young dreamers and to support their academic aspirations. We are changing the world one student at a time.
Robert C. Blakes Sr., a strong advocate for learning and progressing, may be referred to as a self-made man, who, in spite of his many obstacles and struggles, possessed a strong determination to rise above circumstances. He was born into a very poor family in a small, rural community. His mother needed to work so when he was only a few weeks old, she left him in the care of his grandparents.
As a young child growing up in this small community, without the sheltering of biological parents, he became a target for gossip, ridicule and rejection. He was teased by the children and frowned upon by the adults. He often heard the words “you’ll never amount to anything.” Though his grandparents loved him dearly, they did not understand the value of education, so when he became a teenager, he was compelled to drop out of school and go to work. This affected him greatly because he loved learning.
As he grew into adulthood, he set personal goals for himself and began to press forward to accomplish them. He acquired a GED and ultimately graduated from the Christian Bible College of Louisiana with a Doctor of Divinity Degree.
As Pastor of New Home Ministries, he encountered numerous families with young people desiring to further their education but lacking the resources to do so. As a result, he made personal contributions to help them move forward. Thus, the vision for a scholarship fund for underprivileged youth who met the criteria, came into focus. This fund originally began in the early 1990’s and functioned until hurricane Katrina hit the city in 2005. His desire was to give as many persons as possible an opportunity to receive help in achieving their educational goals. During this time, scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 were awarded to several students per year, “based upon their acceptance” into an institution of higher learning.
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the scholarship fund was not immediately re-established. The original team was relocated, chaos was everywhere and Bishop Blakes was facing health issues.
Today, the Robert C. Blakes Sr. Scholarship Fund is now functioning in his memory because of committed individuals with a desire to carry on the vision.