JRF Announces 2015 Rachel Robinson International Fellows


Students to Travel, Volunteer and Study in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, Spain and United Kingdom

(NEW YORK) – The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college and graduate students and the organization behind The Jackie Robinson Museum project, has announced this year’s class of Rachel Robinson International Fellows, a group of JRF Scholars selected to supplement their college experience by traveling and working abroad.  Named in honor of the organization’s Founder and Jackie Robinson’s wife, the fellowship encourages global engagement and provides opportunities and financial support for students to volunteer, study or work throughout the world. This year’s Fellows will be traveling to Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, Spain and the United Kingdom.

“JRF is committed to developing our Scholars as citizens of the world, capable of both competing in a global marketplace and understanding the impact of global trends on impoverished and vulnerable people around the world,” said Della Britton Baeza, JRF’s President & CEO.  “As Jackie and Rachel Robinson shared deep concern for the plight of those who live under the poorest conditions in the world, JRF strives to impart the importance of young men and women giving back to their global family and becoming knowledgeable about issues and movements beyond our borders.”

The 2015-16 awardees are: 

  • Asia Alman (Class of 2017), a Political Science major at Vassar, will participate in the School for International Training (SIT)  Study Abroad Program, traveling to Nepal, Chile and Jordan; SIT prepares students to be “effective inter-cultural leaders, professionals, and citizens;”

  • Jillian Baker (Class of 2016), a communications and African American studies major at the University of Southern California, will study media in Brazil through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Study Abroad Program;

  • Lucia Carbajal (Class of 2017), a bio-chemistry major at Arizona State University, will head to Peru this summer with the Vive Peru program to learn more about Latin America and Peruvian culture;

  • Ayanna Jacobs-El (Class of 2018), a music performance major at the Berklee College of Music, will study this fall at her school’s campus in Valencia, Spain;

  • Jamille Jamison (Class of 2015), a chemical engineering major at Howard University, will participate in The GREEN Program in Peru to study water conservation and sustainability;

  • Omar Corona Monroy (Class of 2016), a political science major at UCLA, will study in the Clinton International Summer School (CIS) in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The CIS curriculum is designed to promote entrepreneurship, leadership and community engagement and prepare the students to advance positive change and economic development in their home communities;

  • Dejah Powell (Class of 2018), an Environmental Sciences major at Cornell, will travel to Indonesia, also through the SIT Study Abroad Program;

  • Ashley Rincon (Class of 2017), a Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major at Harvard University, will travel to Cochabamba, Bolivia, with the organization Refresh Bolivia, to provide safe and clean water by building latrines, water tanks, and water filtration systems;

  • Joi Stevens (Class of 2017), majoring in English and Gender Sexuality Studies at Davidson College, will study history and literature of Britain in the late 18th and 19th century at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England;

  • Dominic Williams (Class of 2017), a biology major at Arkansas State, will study also at the Clinton International Summer School in Northern Ireland;

  • Omar Zaki (Class of 2017), who majors in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, will conduct research at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry located in Martinsreid, a suburb of Munich, Germany.

The Foundation established RRIF in 2008 with a generous grant from the Sheila C. Johnson Foundation to promote and support international and study abroad opportunities for JRF Scholars. Additional support for the program is provided by the United Health Foundation and Nike. Since its inception, 37 students have traveled to study and volunteer on six different continents.  Fellows are selected on the basis of their leadership potential, academic excellence and commitment to community or national development. 

About the Jackie Robinson Foundation

Established in 1973 by Rachel Robinson to perpetuate the memory of her husband, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a public, non-profit organization, administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority students.  In addition to financial assistance, JRF offers a comprehensive set of support services including year-round mentoring, job placement, career guidance, leadership training and practical life skills. JRF’s celebrated four-year program results in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for African American college students. The 1,450 JRF alumni are proven leaders in their communities and across a broad range of professional fields — true ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy. Historically, JRF has provided over $65 million in grants and direct program support to students who have attended over 225 different colleges and universities across the country.   The Foundation is engaged currently in building the Jackie Robinson Museum to inspire and to educate visitors of all generations about Jackie Robinson’s courageous achievements both on and off the field.

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