West Philadelphia’s Nehemiah Davis has distinguished himself as a philanthropist, an entrepreneur and his work with youth.In fact, his work has earned him the nomination as a possible recipient for a Steve Harvey Hoodie Award. Davis is a finalist for the award.
For years, Davis has mentored youth and is perhaps best known for his networking events and the annual back to school event, which is held at Malcolm X Memorial Park where hundreds of children receive free book bags and school supplies.
Not only are the youth who attend given the school supplies they need to make it through the year during these events, they are able to get free haircuts, or, in the case of the young ladies, get their hair cared for by professional stylists who volunteer.
Then there are the ski trips where children have an opportunity to get away from the city and experience new things. Some of these youth have never left the city limits prior to these trips.
“I’m very excited that we are finalists in the Steve Harvey’s Hoodie Award and they are flying us out there for the Neighborhood Awards weekend and hopefully we will return home with the award,” said Davis.
Davis said he hoped to be able to win in order to further continue his service to Philadelphia youth as well as to bring a spotlight to the city itself.
Davis said one of his objectives is to help provide the services needed by so many in Philadelphia that would otherwise only be supplied by politicians. As a mentor, he instructs his mentee to be service oriented as well.
“I just want to set him up with success at a young age. We aren’t going to wait until he is a certain age to begin his journey to success and just help him see that anything is possible,” Davis said.
Tyreece Pressley, 10, is Davis’ mentee and already runs his own candy business called Sneak a Snack which Davis helped him form and maintain.
“He’s caring; he cares for others, he’s nice, kind and very respectful,” said Pressley of Davis. “He helps me out on my journey, because he knows I need help and he takes me places so I can explore new things,” he said.
Exploring new people and things isn’t just a cliché here. At the tender age of 10, Pressley has already traveled to Puerto Rico, St. John and St. Thomas with his mentor.
“He helped me to be successful and make my own money so that I can spend it how I like. So, when I get older I can go on trips and pay for them myself,” Pressley said.
Pressley’s mother, Towanna Pressley, said she met Davis through her son’s school teacher who happened to be a friend of Davis.
“He sponsored a ski trip for about a hundred children and my son happened to be one of them,” she said.
“That was two years ago and since then he has been active in my son’s life,” Pressly said.
Pressley said her son needed a male role-model and that his father wasn’t an active participant in his life. Davis’ presence has made a difference, she added.
“Nehemiah kind of fell out of the sky, and it’s been a blessing. There has not been a day that went by since Nehemiah has met my son that he doesn’t call him,” Pressly said.
Those who wish to vote for Davis to receive the Hoodie Award can do so on June 16 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. by going to www.neighborhoodawards.com/awardshow type in your location, select Nehemiah Davis and click Vote. Be sure to click the finish button before leaving the site.