Jackie Robinson Foundation | A Hero’s Living Legacy


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The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a national non-profit organization that provides scholarships, mentorship opportunities, and leadership development programs for minority youths to help them achieve their full potential while positively impacting others. Established in 1973 by Rachel Robinson, the wife of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the foundation aims to continue Jackie’s legacy of breaking barriers and advancing equality of opportunity by empowering future leaders in underserved communities.

Jackie Robinson’s Legacy as a Pioneer for Equality

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. As the first African American to play in the modern era of MLB, Robinson endured immense racism and discrimination with courage and dignity. His historic achievement paved the way for full integration in baseball and inspired the broader civil rights movement. Beyond his hall-of-fame playing career, Robinson advocated tirelessly for equality, using his platform and influence to give back to minority youth and catalyze social change. The Jackie Robinson Foundation embodies this spirit of advancing opportunity for all.

Overview of the Jackie Robinson Foundation

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides four-year college scholarships, along with comprehensive support services, to highly motivated minority students facing financial barriers to higher education. Since its inception, over 1,600 JRF Scholars have graduated from universities across the country. The foundation’s programs develop well-rounded leaders committed to enacting social change by improving their communities and expanding pathways for those who will follow them.

Key elements of the Jackie Robinson Foundation include:

  • Scholarships: The cornerstone of JRF is providing four-year scholarships of up to $30,000 annually to attend an accredited four-year college or university. Scholars are selected based on academic achievement, leadership potential, and financial need.
  • Mentoring: JRF Scholars are paired with mentors from an extensive network of over 400 professional volunteers to provide guidance, networking opportunities, and emotional support. Mentoring prepares scholars for leadership roles.
  • Internships: During summer and school breaks, scholars gain work experience through internships at leading companies and organizations aligned with their career interests. These opportunities build skills and expand professional networks.
  • Leadership Development: Scholars participate in summits, conferences, and ongoing training focused on skill-building in areas like communication, strategic planning, and teamwork. Activities strengthen the capacity to lead and enact change.
  • JRF Alumni: Graduates gain access to an alumni network of over 1,600 fellows and professionals that provides ongoing career development support, including networking events and the Alumni Athletic Grants for youth sports initiatives.
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Eligibility Requirements for Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarships

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides its generous scholarships and programs to minority high school students based on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Minority student: Candidates must be minority students based on ethnic background as African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, or Pacific Islander.
  • College-bound: Applicants must plan to attend an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States full-time immediately after high school graduation.
  • Academic achievement: Students must have minimum cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher and standardized test scores competitive for college admission (typically minimums of 1000 SAT or 21 ACT).
  • Leadership and community service: Ideal candidates demonstrate leadership in extracurricular activities and meaningful community service experience.
  • Financial need: Applicants must come from households earning under $100,000 annually and have financial needs based on college costs versus family resources.
  • US citizen: Scholarship recipients must be US citizens or legal permanent residents.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation welcomes applications from minority students meeting these criteria who have the drive and determination to succeed academically while giving back through leadership and activism.

Key Steps of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Application Process

Applying for the prestigious Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship involves the following steps:

  • Create an account: Get started by creating an account in the online portal to access the application when ready. The application period runs from August 1st through February 1st annually.
  • Enter information: Provide biographical and demographic information within the application, like contact details, academic history, planned major, and financial background.
  • Write essays: Craft thoughtful responses to short answer questions and essay prompts regarding your interests, goals, leadership experience, and community impact.
  • Gather supporting documents: Submit official high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and financial aid documentation.
  • Complete interview: If selected as a finalist, participate in an interview with a regional JRF selection committee member as the final step.
  • Accept offer: If awarded a scholarship, formally accept through the portal and get ready to join the JRF family!

With its multi-step process, the JRF application allows students to showcase their full potential as scholars and leaders destined to make meaningful change.

Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars represent some of the top youth talent the country has to offer. JRF Alumni have gone on to achieve incredible success across industries while exemplifying the foundation’s pillars of leadership, advocacy, and public service. Here are just a few notable JRF alumni members:

  • Susan Rice (JRF ’86) – Former National Security Advisor and United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration.
  • Bakari Sellers (JRF ’03) – Attorney, political analyst, and former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
  • J.R. Martinez (JRF ’04) – Actor, motivational speaker, and veteran who suffered severe burns while deployed in Iraq.
  • Ericka Dunlap (JRF ’04) – Actress, model, and beauty queen who was crowned Miss America 2004.
  • Tracie Thoms (JRF ’97) – Award-winning film, television, and Broadway actress known for roles in Rent, Cold Case, and several Tarantino films.
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These diverse leaders demonstrate the caliber of students supported by the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the impact of its mission to empower minority youth. The next generation of JRF Scholars holds incredible promise to build on this alumni legacy.

Benefits of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship and Programs

Becoming a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar provides transformative financial, programmatic, and community benefits.

Financial Benefits

  • Up to $30,000 annually toward tuition, housing, books, and additional approved expenses
  • Access to additional scholarship opportunities through partners
  • Paid summer internships, study abroad stipends, and conference participation funds

Programmatic Benefits

  • One-on-one mentorship from leaders in business, education, media, and more
  • Participation in regional and national leadership summits, conferences, and trainings
  • Robust alumni network providing ongoing career development and engagement opportunities

Community Benefits

  • Joining the JRF family and network of over 1,600 exceptional minority scholars and pros
  • Chance to enact meaningful change through community initiatives and youth programming
  • Supporting and expanding Jackie Robinson’s powerful legacy of opportunity

The comprehensive scholarships and programming transform recipients into empowered leaders ready to achieve their dreams and open doors for others.

How Donations and Partnerships Support the Jackie Robinson Foundation

As a non-profit organization, the Jackie Robinson Foundation relies on the generous support of donors and corporate partners to fulfill its mission. Here’s how donations help:

  • Scholarship funding: Contributions provide need-based college scholarships and stipends for expenses like internships, conferences, and laptops.
  • Program delivery: Donations support programming costs for leadership summits, mentorship, internships, and ongoing training.
  • Operational expenses: Gifts assist with overhead like staffing, technology, events, and facilities to deliver high-impact programs.
  • Awareness and outreach: Contributions facilitate effective marketing and communications to reach eligible youth and broaden JRF’s reach.
  • Special initiatives: Targeted campaigns like the Jackie Robinson Museum project, youth sports programs, and COVID-19 relief receive designated funding.
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Ways to support JRF include one-time or recurring donations, honorary/memorial gifts, planned giving, fundraising campaigns, and sponsorship of special events. Partnerships with corporations and foundations also strengthen JRF’s scholarship funds and programming. Every donation makes a difference in empowering deserving minority youth!

How to Get Involved with the Jackie Robinson Foundation

Individuals looking to advance the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s mission have many impactful ways to get involved, including:

  • Donate: Make a tax-deductible donation online or by mail to provide financial support to talented minority students and JRF’s impactful programs.
  • Fundraise: Lead a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for JRF through a special event, social media drive, or personal challenge.
  • Volunteer: Share your skills through mentorship of scholars, providing career advice, speaking at events, or assisting at the annual gala.
  • Partner: Collaboration between JRF and corporations, foundations, and community organizations magnifies our collective impact.
  • Spread the word: Help raise awareness by following JRF on social media and sharing updates with your networks.
  • Commemorate Jackie Robinson: Participate in legacy campaigns like League 42 to continue Robinson’s pioneering values.
  • Apply: If you are a motivated and promising minority high school student, apply to become a JRF Scholar!

By getting involved, you can be part of advancing Jackie Robinson’s inspirational legacy of opportunity and empowerment.


For over four decades, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has built on the iconic baseball pioneer’s legacy of breaking barriers by providing comprehensive support to equip minority youths as leaders who drive social change. Jackie Robinson took the national stage through baseball to help advance civil rights. Today, his name lives on through JRF Scholars chosen as the next generation of change-makers and barrier-breakers. The Foundation’s scholarships, mentorship programs, and leadership training shape these promising students into compassionate leaders committed to elevating their communities and expanding pathways for those to come after them. Thanks to generous donors and engaged partners, the Jackie Robinson Foundation continues moving ever closer to Jackie Robinson’s vision of realizing equal opportunity for all.

Hello, my name is Joseph Samaritan and I am a blogger who writes about various topics of interest, I have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge through my blog, I welcome feedback and comments on my posts and I look forward to engaging with you, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.


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