UCLA Senior Receives 2012 Spike Lee Youth Motivation Award

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar Ashley Williams Starts Campus Organization to Aid Youth in Foster Care

UCLA Senior Ashley Williams received the coveted Spike Lee Youth Motivation Award at the Annual Jackie Robinson Foundation Mentoring and Leadership Conference held in New York City March 1‐6th.

This award was established in 1995 with a generous grant from the acclaimed filmmaker. A $2,500 cash grant is given to the Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar who has performed the most outstanding community service during the preceding calendar year and recognizes those individuals who have made a particularly enduring impact through his or her commitment to serving others.

Ashley William, a sociology major, created an organization called the Guardian Scholar Program which supports foster youth on the UCLA’s campus. She also implemented the First Star UCLA Bruin Guardian Scholars summer Academy in 2011, an intense, free, 5‐week residential program that provides 25 foster youth with academic support, leadership development and guidance for becoming competitive applicants to 2 and 4 year colleges. In the foster care system herself, Ashley also provides college information to students at her former high school where there is no college counselor.

“With our partners and supporters, we are delighted to recognize the extraordinary achievements of these future leaders,” said JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. “Ashley is a true legacy of our iconic namesake, Jackie Robinson. Through her passions to provide opportunities to those in the foster care system, she brings exceptional value to an underserved community as she changes lives.”

Award recipients are selected for having developed the most innovative and practical method of meeting the needs of an individual, group, or organization. His or her project must address a social, economic, educational, governmental or legal problem within a community and strive to improve the status of the population served.