The Foundation is a public, not-for-profit, national organization founded in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson and his heroic achievements. It provides college and graduate school scholarships as well as leadership development opportunities for students of color with strong capabilities but limited financial resources.
As a Jackie Robinson Scholar in the Class of 2022, Lucas will receive $7,000 annually, totaling $28,000 over four years of college. He has been accepted into Seton Hall University’s prestigious Business Leadership Development Program and plans to double major in Finance and Marketing.
“This scholarship is truly a blessing to my family and me,” Lucas said. “My mother decided to go back to school this year to fulfill her dream of getting a nursing degree. As great as this is, it means she will not be able to work during this time, and we knew that paying for college was going to put a large strain on our family. The news about receiving this scholarship came at the perfect time and was really nothing short of a miracle. I’m so honored to be joining this amazing Foundation and Class of 2022 Scholars.”
Lucas recently attended a four-day new student orientation in Dallas, which provided him the opportunity to meet the other scholars in his class and learn what it means to be a Jackie Robinson Scholar. “I am now a part of a large network of successful people all pushing for my own success,” he said.
Lucas learned of the scholarship opportunity from the O’Dowd Counseling Department, which regularly communicates scholarship information to seniors via e-mail. “All of these e-mails were a great resource to me and I applied for quite a few of the scholarships,” he said. “I’d recommend everyone to not only apply to the Jackie Robinson Scholarship, but any scholarship that comes your way.”
Lucas said the Jackie Robinson Scholarship application process included writing four essays, ranging from 400-500 words. The four essay prompts were: What obstacles have you overcome that speak to what others can learn from studying the life of Jackie Robinson? What do you consider to be the most pressing global issue today and why? Describe a situation where you took a leadership role, and write a personal essay which conveys to the reader a sense of who you are.
Additionally, it required one recommendation from a teacher or counselor and a Skype interview.
“I honestly thought I had no chance to receive this prestigious scholarship. I actually remember telling my dad, ‘There’s absolutely no way I’m going to get this scholarship, but it can’t hurt to apply’,” Lucas said.
He’s glad that he did – and not just because of the generous financial support it provides. “There’s also a mentoring and leadership development program that sponsors the scholars in many other aspects of college, such as study abroad and internships,” Lucas said.