Day At The Track

Harness racing owner help local grads

09:18 AM 25 May 2017 NZST
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Amillion and George Teague Jr. teamed up to offer scholarships to local students heading to college.
Amillion and George Teague Jr. teamed up to offer scholarships to local students heading to college.
Antoine Pettyjohn Photo

It's fair to say that going to college is a blessing that not everybody has the privilege to access.

Besides those who don't have access to college, there is a large portion of people who have had to leave college because of financial issues beyond their control. That very reason is why Dover hip-hop artist Amillion The Poet has teamed up with harness racing legend George Teague Jr. to offer two scholarship opportunities to students in Delaware.

Throughout the last few years, Amillion has been one of the most talked-about hip-hop artists in the state. The attention is not only for his music and overseas shows, but also for his work as a mentor and activist.

Teague is the owner of Teague Stable and Farm in Harrington, and his horse Wiggle It JiggleIt is a champion American Standardbred racehorse. At 3, he won 22 of 26 starts including the Little Brown Jug and Meadowlands Pace, earning him the Dan Patch Award for 2015 Harness Horse of the Year. Last year, he finished second in the 2016 Horse of the Year balloting and to date has close to $4 million in earnings from racing.

Teague is one of the few African-American owners in horse racing and continues to set the bar for other minorities in the sport.

Teague and Amillion have teamed up to offer two separate scholarships of $2,500, and the requirements are simple: Students must create a song, rap, poem or jingle about either why they want to go to college or about the sport of harness racing. Students must then make a video between 30-60 seconds featuring the song. No matter who wins, two of Delaware’s influential men offering opportunities to kids is a win-win situation.

We spoke with both Amillion and Teague about their plan.

Q: So what sparked this idea in the first place?

Amillion: Well, I'm always thinking of ways to give back to the community outside of music. Last year when you gave me the honor of being a mover and shaker in 2016, I took it to heart and wanted to make sure I keep giving back. I basically had a conversation with George in the barbershop and he had seen me on a local TV show called Delmarva Life. I had already planned on doing the scholarship and when we talked about it, he told me he would match whatever I put up. It's a blessing that doubled just by a conversation.

Teague: I saw ... all the good, positive things he had going on in the local community, so when I met him and he talked about his scholarship idea I knew I had to get involved in some way.

Q: Why is providing this opportunity so important to both of you?

Amillion: Well, as you know, I had to leave school and basketball behind because I had to take care of my daughter. Now that I am in a position to help others, I feel like, what better to give to someone looking to pursue their education? God had other plans for me but education is vital to our community, and many times money can be an obstacle that prevents smart students from going to college altogether.

Teague: I actually dropped out of school at age 15. I was fortunate enough to be around horses and make a career for myself but not everybody has that opportunity either. When Amillion told me about his idea, I thought, what better than to help someone achieve something I wasn't able to achieve? Education is important, especially for our youth, so hopefully this helps take some of the stress off of a prospective student.

Q: What are your plans for the scholarship fund in the future?

Amillion: We definitely are looking to make this an annual thing and maybe even a partnership with other sponsors to grow the scholarship. Anybody willing to add to the pot can be involved.

Teague: If I can keep having luck in the racing world I will definitely increase the amount for the future. But either way we both plan to make this a yearly opportunity and hope to cultivate young minds in the process. Just like we need more minorities in horse racing, we need more in college, too. It’s all about opening doors for the next generation so that we can better our community.

Scholarship Submission Info

Any high school students in the state of Delaware can submit a rap, song, poem or jingle about why they want to go to college or the art of harness racing for a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship. All videos must be sent to Teague1NA@gmail by Friday, May 26. Winners will be announced Monday. Sponsors and support are welcome. Checks can be made payable to the nonprofit Delaware Parents Association.

Dominick 'King Dom' Draper,

Reprinted with permission of the News Journal Delawareonline

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