Making an impact worthy of No. 42



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“A life is not important except in its impact on other lives.” — Jackie Robinson

Yesterday, the Cubs’ community affairs department hosted four local Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars — (from left to right) Troy White of Northern Illinois University, Jasmyne McDonald of Northwestern University, and Artis Lewis and Lauryn Nwampka of the University of Chicago. They were an impressive bunch of students, all articulate and passionate about Robinson’s impact as well as active themselves in social causes.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgWhite even was drafted by the Indians, in the 48th round last summer, but instead decided to pursue a college education that might allow him to someday play professional baseball or bring an academy to inner-city youth. His scholarship is now sponsored by MLB and the Chicago Cubs.

And they all were thankful for the scholarships, networking and educational opportunities afforded to them by the organization, founded by Robinson’s widow, Rachel. All four scholars were honored on the field prior to yesterday’s game along with Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley and Joey Gathright.

_S8O2431BLOG.jpgRead the scholars’ own words on Jackie Robinson’s impact:

“It’s a game I love to play. [Robinson] talked a lot about life. There’s a lot more important things in life than just baseball. … In a way, he’s helped me be drafted. There are not many black athletes playing baseball. I feel a sense of pride to go out and play baseball and play it the best I can and conduct myself with dignity and pride off the field.” — Troy White

“In college, you’re going to have transitions; you’re going to have challenges. For me, it’s about being able to know that somebody did it. Somebody has experienced the same thing. You’re not by yourself. And they did well. They succeeded beyond expectations. I can say I want to make you proud. I want to continue that legacy.” — Jasmyne White

“Whether you play baseball or not, his impact is in having that role model, someone who accomplished so much and gave back to the community. And now for the family to actually provide scholarships to students like us is an amazing opportunity. He accomplished so much in baseball and outside of it, especially during that time.” — Artis Lewis

“The fact that he and Rachel dealt with racism to the point where they had death threats and things like that, just to have someone like that to look up to and carry on his legacy. She didn’t have to start a foundation after he died; she didn’t really have to put all these kids through college and create this great foundation for students.” — Lauryn Nwampka

Troy White

Hometown: Chicago
College: Northern Illinois University
Major: Business Administration
Year: Freshman
Sponsor: MLB/Chicago Cubs

Jasmyne McDonald

Hometown: Berkeley, Ill.
College: Northwestern University
Major: Communications
Year: Freshman
Sponsor: Scripps Network

Artis Lewis

Hometown: Chicago
College: University of Chicago
Major: Biology and Economics
Year: Freshman
Sponsor: Bernard Winograd

Lauryn Nwampka

Hometown: Evanston, Ill.
College: University of Chicago
Major: African American Studies and Comparative Human Development
Year: Senior
Sponsor: Unilever

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