Cub Charities gives away over $100,000 in scholarship to Chicago high school juniors
In 2013, Cubs Charities established the Cubs Scholars program as a way to give back to high school students through scholarship and a mentorship program. This year, eight more scholars joined the growing program within the organization.
Before COVID-19, the process involved in-person interviews along with a ceremony that celebrates the finalists. However, the pandemic made some changes to how these high school juniors found out they were selected. Cubs commentator Len Kasper, Clark The Cub and Jennifer Nowak, Cubs Charities programs senior manager, had a surprise Zoom call.
Kymora Dillard, George Westinghouse College Prep junior, said, “I was really anxious. I had my brother sit in on the call with me. Once they told me, I was really relieved and excited, because I was really working toward this. This was kind of a major milestone for me.”
Mya Jackson, Northside College Prep junior, said, “I got off the call, and I literally just fell.”
Each of these eight Cubs Scholars received a $20,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.
Brian Lensegrav, William Howard Taft High School junior, said, “It’s honestly a game changer, especially for me. I’m trying to play baseball in college. Baseball is one of the sports that doesn’t have much money for scholarships at any university. If a coach hears that I have this money already going to whatever school I’d like, it’s a huge thing.”
They also get access to a college mentorship program. This program helps these students transition from high school to college. The members of the mentorship program also stay in contact with the scholars throughout their college years, holding workshops and offering advice when solicited. This was a key point for these scholars when they initially applied for the program.
Dillard said, “Being able to get that mentorship when I transition from high school to college would really help me, knowing that I wouldn’t have to go through that alone.”
“They help us while we’re still in college. They keep in contact with us. It makes me feel like we won’t be left alone,” Jackson said.
Especially during these trying times, the eight scholars are forever thankful for this silver lining as they enter their final year of high school. The Cubs Charities program is grateful to add more students to their program as well.
“Of course, during this time, it’s a lot harder. Obviously, I can’t go on visits. So, just to have this one bright spot, which is huge for my future, is great,” Lensegrav said.
“Our Cubs Scholars are just a great community, and we’re a family. During this time, bringing on more kids to this family has been a bright spot,” Nowak said.
You can learn more about the Cubs Scholars program within Cubs Charities by heading to their website.