NEW YORK (March 6, 2017) Strada Education Network, formerly USA Funds, tonight announced a $6.5 million grant to the Jackie Robinson Foundation to support its mission of education and leadership development. The grant is the largest single donation to JRF since its founding by Rachel Robinson in 1973, the year after the death of her husband, sports and social justice icon Jackie Robinson.
The grant will fund 30 JRF Scholars, allow the Foundation to launch a substantial expansion of its celebrated college success program, and cap off the fundraising goal for the construction of the Jackie Robinson Museum, which will host educational programs for people of all ages.
The grant was announced onstage tonight during the Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner by William D. Hansen, president and CEO of Strada Education Network, Della Britton Baeza, president and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and JRF board member Ziad Ojakli.
“We are honored to support this three-pronged initiative to perpetuate Jackie Robinson’s legacy of promoting equal opportunity in education,” Hansen said. “Highly motivated, low-income and first-generation students of color will benefit from scholarships and support to help them navigate a path through college to fulfilling careers and leadership roles in their communities. The Museum will also be a center for advancing the social justice issues, including the achievement gap in higher education, that Jackie and Rachel Robinson so courageously addressed.”
Britton stated, “The Jackie Robinson Foundation is extremely grateful for Strada Education Network’s generosity and very excited about this partnership, given Strada Education’s impressive record of support for postsecondary education and the successful transition from college to the workplace. I am confident that this partnership will inform the national dialogue on closing the achievement gap in higher education. We also welcome Strada Education’s participation in development of the Jackie Robinson Museum’s educational programs.”
With Strada Education’s support, JRF will increase its impact by enlarging the current cohort of 240 JRF Scholars, launching a program expansion that will reach thousands of students of color across the country within three years, and educating and inspiring visitors from all walks of life to the new Jackie Robinson Museum, the groundbreaking for which is being scheduled for Spring 2017.
About the Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network, formerly USA Funds, is a new kind of nonprofit organization that takes a fresh approach to improving the college-to-career connection. Through a unique combination of strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and innovative solutions, Strada Education Network advances Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. Learn more at StradaEducation.org.
About the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973 to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), is a public, non-profit organization, that administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college students. In addition to four-years of generous financial assistance, JRF offers a comprehensive set of support services that has led to a consistent, nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for African American college students. The 1,500 JRF alumni are proven leaders in their communities and across a broad range of professional fields –and true ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy of service and humanitarianism. JRF has disbursed over $70 million in grants and direct program support to students who have attended over 225 different colleges and universities across the country.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation is engaged currently in building the Jackie Robinson Museum, which will be located in New York City and include a robust online component. The Museum will chronicle the baseball legend’s storied athletic career and his defining, long-lasting impact across society through state-of-the-art exhibits, precious artifacts, film and other media. This permanent tribute to Jackie Robinson’s pioneering baseball legacy and role in the Civil Rights Movement, will serve also as an activity-oriented venue, a destination for innovative educational programming and a place for vibrant dialogue on critical social issues. For more information: JackieRobinson.org