MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO viewers are making a difference for students in north Minneapolis.

In January, we told you about the Wilson’s Image College Scholarship program launched by business owner Teto Wilson in 2018. He says he watched his daughter navigate the scholarship application process and wanted to make more scholarships available to inner city students like her. Since launching the program, he’s given out 10 scholarships, each worth $1,000. His ultimate goal is to provide full-ride scholarships in the future. WCCO viewers are pushing that effort forward in a major way.

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You don’t always know how a story will touch someone’s heart, or move them to not just watch, but ask, what can I do? That’s the same question Wilson asked when he launched a scholarship program for students. Now his efforts to share a little good are going even further.

Two scholarships for two deserving students on the city’s north side. We shared this moment in January, made possible by a business owner putting his faith in the future.

“I believe in the people and I believe they believe in me,” Wilson said.

It’s belief in what he started that connected with the community.

“Usually the things that start small and grow are the best things,” Shana Moses said.

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“Youth today, we’re the future of what the community will become,” Ayo Olagbaju said.

Students and viewers like you walking through the door of his barbershop.

“There was a guy walks into the shop, I’m thinking he is coming in for a haircut,” Wilson said. “And I told him, ‘I’ll be with you in a minute.’ He said, ‘I want to talk to you about your scholarship.’ So I said, ‘OK, great.’ Finished the haircut, brought him in the back. We sat down and talked. He told me he wanted to make a $50,000 donation. I didn’t know what was OK to do, I wanted to hug him.”

When it comes to impact, there are some things you can’t put a price on.

“Actually we’re friends now. We talk all the time, a couple times a week,” Wilson said. “These donations are more than just a donation. You’re planting a seed that will grow … I would say thank you to every WCCO viewer that has made a donation since the story aired. The donations that have been made will go a long way in helping the inner city scholars achieve their educational dreams.”

The viewer wanted to remain anonymous, but we’re told they made the donation in stocks. The amount received actually totaled $53,000. Since the WCCO story aired, Wilson’s Image College Scholarship has received just under $60,000 in donations. The next scholarships will be given out to the next scholars by the end of July.

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For more information on the scholarship, click here. 

Shayla Reaves