The Alma & Ether Bledsoe Mentor/Protege' Program & Scholarship Fund
The scholarship fund assists those that are pursuing higher education and the mentor/protege' program assists those that want to learn a trade and become an entrepreneur.
"Teach a person to paint and they will always have the ability to create a job of their own."
Ether Bledsoe was born in Tutwiler, MS. in 1938. He was one of 13 children. His family moved to St. Louis, Mo. where he graduated number one in his high school graduating class. He set out to start his own painting business in 1970 with 5 children and a stay at home wife. Through his determination and hard work, he went on to build a multi-million dollar company with close to 100 employees, paid for three children to attend private universities and a fourth to attain an engineering degree. Ether was one of the founding members of the Minority Contractors Association of Missouri/Kansas (MOKAN).
Alma Bledsoe was the first secretary for the business and was instrumental in the development of the company. Mrs. Bledsoe was heavily involved with the churches she attended and it was her prayers with the help of God that sustained the business.
Bledsoe has been mentoring individuals for well over 50 years. We have taught dozens of individuals how to paint and how to conduct themselves in a professional manner so that they may have a business of their own. One of our greatest achievements is knowing that many individuals first joined our operation not knowing how to paint but after gaining the knowledge, went on to become self employed as a painting contractor.
We know how to properly talk to individuals and train them to become productive citizens. We are aware of the obstacles within society especially for those without a lengthy educational background. We have also seen the glee in the eyes and the increased self esteem from individuals after they complete an honest day of work. Bledsoe will always continue to train individuals in a manner that produces dignity and increases self esteem.