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Sizzling Scholarships

Omanii's Hot Dog Stand offers financial help to area teenagers

On the corner of Fayette and North Crouse the air smells faintly of hot dogs and chili, even early in the morning when Omanii’s Hot Dog Stand is still under covers awaiting business.

Omar Bellamy has been here since he was 11 years old, watching the hot dogs sizzle on the grill and now serving them up himself to customers, all of whom he knows on a first-name basis. But Omanii’s is not just a hot dog stand. On this small corner, under the yellow tent surrounded by trees and a parking lot, Bellamy has created a gateway to improve his community.

Bellamy hires teenagers to work for him in order to help them financially and train them with hands-on work as well as continuing a scholarship that was started by his father’s brother who was a professor at Syracuse University. Every year, Bellamy helps to support one teenager through college with the accumulated tips from his stand.

Bellamy makes the best hot dogs in Syracuse, according to his customers.  They say he is also a force for social change, offering his stand for voter registration services to encourage people his age to become politically active.

Hear Bellamy tell the story of his hot dog stand and his journey toward lifting his community to higher places.

Produced by Feride Yalav, Amy Su, Amanda Hartman

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