University of Chicago Sophomore Receives 2014 Nike Prize

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar Nkemdilim Nwaokolo is 6th Recipient of Prestigious Nike Prize

New York ‐ University of Chicago sophomore Nkemdilim Nwaokolo received the 2014 Nike Prize during the Jackie Robinson Foundation Mentoring and Leadership Conference held February 27‐ March 4th in New York City.

Created in 2008, the Nike Prize grants $5,000 annually to the JRF scholar‐athlete who exemplifies, through his or her actions, the ways in which commitment, advocacy, and innovation can unite and challenge a community to change. This year’s award was presented by Darius Ryals, Nike’s Vice President of Technology Infrastructure Services.

Nkemdilim, a biology major sponsored by the Tricoastal Foundation, is a four time University Athletic Association (UAA) champion in the outdoor shot put, outdoor discus, indoor weight throw and indoor shot put. During the 2013 season, she was named UAA Rookie of the Year in the outdoor and indoor season. She recently placed first in the 2014 UAA indoor meet in both the women shot put and weight throw. When she is not on the track or in the classroom, Nkemdilim spends her spare time as a Jumpstart Corps member. Jumpstart is a nationwide program to help preschoolers improve their language and literacy skills.

“With our partners and supporters, we are delighted to recognize the extraordinary achievements of these young leaders,” said JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. “Nkemdilim Nwaokolo has worked hard on the track field and in the classroom and embodies the values associated with our heroic namesake. We are delighted that she intends to spread the message of excellence to the very young who hopefully will follow her lead in the years to come.”

About the Jackie Robinson Foundation:

Established in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is the nation’s premier higher education and leadership development program. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including internship placement, career guidance, and practical life skills, resulting in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students. The over 1,400 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy of community service. This 2013‐2014 academic year, JRF is providing generous financial aid and program support to 200 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars representing 36 states and the District of Columbia and enrolled in 96 different colleges and universities across the country.