Nonprofits that Work


Tackling Challenges Collectively

14 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine Jackie and Rachel Robinson serve as extraordinary examples of the courage required in challenging society to address the needs of marginalized communities and encourage equal opportunity. The sacrifices they made personally and the strategies they used, as they confronted the resistance to including all citizens in the American dream, E stablished in 1973 by Rachel Robinson to perpetuate the memory of her husband, The Jackie Robinson Foundation ( JRF) is one of the nation’s oldest and most effective college scholarship programs supporting minority college and graduate school students throughout the United States. JRF’s two-pronged approach provides generous, four-year grants in conjunction with a comprehensive set of services that results in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for African American college students. JRF’s year-round support includes hands-on mentoring, job placement, curriculum and career guidance, practical life skills, international travel opportunities, and leadership training. While in college, each JRF Scholar completes 42 units that comprise JRF’s proprietary mentoring curriculum and that provide strategies for success in college and in life. Over the past 42 years, JRF has disbursed over $65 million in scholarship aid and direct program services to over 1,450 students who have attended 225 different colleges and universities across the country. Since each of the 200 JRF Scholars is required to perform community service on an ongoing basis, JRF impacts another 30,000 lives each year through its student constituents’ volunteer service. Learning fromHistory

evoked throughout our society can impact other social causes as well. JRF also works to instill the same sense of pride, commitment and passion in all employees that the leadership feels in working on behalf of Jackie Robinson’s rich legacy of promoting equal opportunity, higher education and humanitarianism. JRF takes pride in helping to close the unacceptable achievement gap in higher education. Through programs like JRF’s, young people receive resources and strategies to earn advanced degrees, to self-actualize and to unlock their leadership potential. JRF also imparts to its young constituents the importance of adopting a set of values, invoking those embodied in the life of Jackie Robinson,that lead to their becoming citizens of good will with the skill and inclination to better our communities. It takes Partners JRF has never existed in a vacuum. We are humbled to have a longstanding history with both the private and public sectors, having partnered with over 400 corporations and private foundations in fundraising, diversity initiatives, volunteer opportunities for executives and other professionals, special events and marketing ventures. JRF also enjoys partnerships with over a dozen colleges and universities around our research efforts and to improve higher education performance models. One example of our successful, robust partnerships is that of our annual four-day Mentoring and Leadership Conference for JRF Scholars, graduate fellows and alumni, where we bring in dozens of corporate executives and industry leaders to speak

instruct and encourage others to persevere and to see that great progress can be made by even a few people. Those who study the Robinson legacy know that Jackie and Rachel Robinson used their celebrity to speak out against injustice both before and after Robinson’s baseball career; that they performed numerous deeds to effect change, as active participants and fundraisers for the modern Civil Rights Movement and with Rachel’s establishing the Jackie Robinson Foundation within a year of her husband’s death; and that their individual work, courage and comportment indelibly impacted our social landscape. The Robinsons provide both inspiration and a blueprint for others and personify the importance and effectiveness of focusing on one’s own experience and expertise to make a difference. In addition, the Foundation is engaged in building the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City to inspire and to educate visitors of all generations about Jackie Robinson’s courageous achievements both on and off the field, and to promote dialogue around important social issues that continue to plague our society. Expanding our mission and our public constituency through the creation of the Museum will bolster our efforts to close the achievement gap in higher education. We appreciate that the strong images that Jackie and Rachel Robinson

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