Unlike many scholarships, the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship for minorities is meant to assist award recipients not only with financial assistance in completing their education, but also guidance in the entire higher education process. The goal of the program is to mold students into dynamic future leaders with a strong dedication to humanitarian ideals and public service. This Jackie Robinson scholarship is awarded annual to high school graduates with plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Since the JRF scholarship program first began, it has continued to attract the support of numerous private individuals as well as philanthropic organizations and companies. As a result, the program has been able to assist a larger number of students by providing them with the help and guidance they need in attending college.
The program is named in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player to break the color barrier that had segregated Major League Baseball for more than half a century. Robinson was born to a family of sharecroppers in Georgia in 1919. One of five children, Robins was primarily raised by a single mother. From an early age, Robinson demonstrated significant athletic ability and became the first athlete at UCLA to win varsity letters in four different sports; basketball, baseball, track and football. By 1941, Robinson had been named to the All-American football team. Unfortunately, he had to leave college due to financial problems and later decided to enlist in the army. Within a two-year time period, Robinson made his way up to the rank of second lieutenant.
After leaving the Army with an honorable discharge, Robinson played for a brief stint in the Negro Baseball League and traveled throughout the Midwest. He was approached by the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 about joining the team. At the time there were no African-Americans in the Major Leagues. By the end of Robinson’s rookie season with the Dodgers he had accumulated the title of National League Rookie of the Year, with an astounding 29 steals, 12 homers and a .297 average. He was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the Year in 1949 and later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Today, Robinson is still remembered for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship offers a financial grant for up to four years amounting to $7,500 annually for students to attend a 4-year university or college of their choice. This JRF scholarship for minority students is meant to compliment financial aid assistance the student may also receive. In addition, program scholars are also provided with assistance in attending a four-day mentoring and leadership conference held each year in New York City.
While financial assistance is a strong component of the Jackie Robinson Scholarship program, it also provides for mentoring as well. Mentors are composed of JRF Alumni, community leaders, corporate sponsors and advisory committee members. Each JRF scholar is assigned a mentor who will assist them in enriching their developmental. Mentors may assist with a host of needs including career planning, academic guidance and internship placement.
Corporate partners have also agreed to provide program scholars with permanent employment, internship placement and opportunities for valuable career development. Upon graduation, scholars may also benefit from the ability to obtain full-time positions through the ongoing assistance and career counseling provided by JRF mentors and corporate sponsors.
The Jackie Robinson Scholarship program also sponsors and promotes the Rachel Robinson International Fellowship. This fellowship was established in order to promote and support international opportunities for scholars of the program. Fellows for this program will be chosen on the basis of academic excellence, commitment to community, leadership potential and national development. This fellowship can be used for a variety of initiatives, including philanthropic efforts, volunteers initiatives, financial support for study abroad programs, etc.
In addition, the JRF scholarship program has also launched the Extra Innings Fellowship Program. This program was specifically created to assist JRF scholars who are highly motivated in overcoming challenges to obtaining their career goals. For many such scholars this is the cost of graduate training or advanced professional training. The program promotes these goals by offering fellows up to $10,000 annually. The deadline to apply for the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship for minority students is March 30th of every year.
Black scholarships for minority students.