Friday, 25 October 2013

Running Towards Success: Robert Shumake Relays Help Detroit Youths Win Scholarships

Competing in a race has always been an effective metaphor for overcoming challenges in life in order to enjoy the hard-fought rewards. In many parts of the world, even the simplest comforts simply cannot be had for free; generally, something that can cause tremendous happiness and gratitude (like a secure and sturdy home, an education, employment, a comfortable family life, and the like) is bound to entail much hard work, patience, determination, and a touch of faith in one's own ability to succeed.

It is only fitting, then, that a track and field competition becomes a rightful opportunity to give determined individuals a better shot at life — and this shot is brought to Detroit's youth in the form of the Robert S. Shumake Scholarship Relays organized by bestselling author, real estate specialist, and distinguished philanthropist Robert Shumake. Since it first kicked off in 2005, the event (which is also the largest private track and field competition in Michigan) has awarded more than $30,000 in college scholarships (as of 2010) to some of the most deserving high school students in the city. 

The inspiration for organizing such a rewarding event stemmed from Shumake's own experiences as an all-city track star at Edwin Denby High School in Detroit.  “I definitely gained important life skills from my participation on the track and field team,” said Shumake. “The Scholarship Relays are my way of giving back.”

Having found business success through being the CEO of Inheritance Capital Group, Shumake believes that he — and anyone who has achieved substantial success in his field — has a moral obligation to use his financial wealth for something more than personal indulgence and comfort. This, according to Shumake, is the "double bottom line." “If I make a profit, I have the responsibility to make a difference,” he added.

Shumake is quick to explain that virtually every dollar that Inheritance Capital Group makes creates an impact on the greater Detroit community because of his insistent adherence to that double bottom line. “So, while the company’s bottom line is to make a profit, my personal bottom line is to help the city of Detroit and give kids every opportunity to succeed in life.”

Aside from assisting high school athletes in obtaining a better education, Shumake also makes it a point to provide help to college students as well. He founded the annual Shumake HBCU Challenge which is specifically geared towards college cross-country athletes from historically black colleges and universities. Much like the Scholarship Relays, the HBCU Challenge is meant to bring athletes together and to demonstrate the importance — and the remarkable rewards — of positive and admirable concepts such as hard work, perseverance, and academic integrity.

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