LITTLE ROCK (September 23, 2008) – Arkansas boxer Jermain Taylor, a 2000 Olympics medalist, today announced his support for the Scholarship Lottery Amendment on the Nov. 4th General Election ballot.
"I'm always proud to tell people I'm from Arkansas because I've seen firsthand how families in my home state work hard every day to make a better life for their children," Taylor said. "They have earned the opportunity to get a college education. The Scholarship Lottery will offer them this opportunity."
Taylor's wife, the former Erica Smith of Wheatley, also endorsed the Scholarship Lottery.
"A college degree opens so many doors to young people," said Erica Taylor, who was a collegiate basketball standout at Louisiana Tech University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. "Getting that diploma was one of the proudest moments in my life. I believe this amendment will allow many more Arkansans to experience that same feeling."
Jermain Taylor held the middleweight championship crown for two years, after dethroning Bernard Hopkins in July 2005. Taylor is currently ranked as the World Boxing Council's No. 2 super middleweight contender. A Little Rock native, Taylor was the first boxer from Arkansas to compete in the Olympic Games.
Jermain and Erica Taylor have three daughters: Nia, Tyra and Laila. The Taylors live in North Little Rock.
"Hope for Arkansas is delighted to have the support of these two terrific ambassadors for our state, "Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter said. "Jermain and Erica care deeply about the future of Arkansas."
Halter worked with the Hope for Arkansas Committee to qualify the Scholarship Lottery for a public vote. It will appear on the ballot as Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 3.
Business and labor organizations in Arkansas have publicly endorsed the Scholarship Lottery, along with 36 mayors and county judges. The amendment received two significant endorsements last week: The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Board Visitors approved a resolution urging Arkansans to vote for the Scholarship Lottery and Dr. John White, former chancellor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, made his support public.