Everyone knows Michael Jordan, the athlete. Everyone knows Jordan Brand, the multi-billion sportswear company responsible for producing some of the best selling shoes on the market. Few people might know about Jordan Brand's Wings Scholars Program, a program that has helped over 200 students receive full rides to 65 different colleges since 2015. The Undefeated recently took a look at the Wings Scholars Program and highlighted three students who have been lucky enough to receive the honorary scholarships.
The Wings Scholars Program has given students from disadvantaged areas hope that they too can attend a university to further their education, something many of them see as unattainable. "I used to consider myself a realist, thinking college ain’t gonna happen. But this scholarship taught me to think, just put the work in and try. It’s changed me as a person," Southern Illinois University sophomore Rozzie Cribbs told The Undefeated.
Jordan's educational program began under the name Jordan Fundamentals Program and raised more than $10 million in financial aid for underprivileged communities from 1999 to 2009 before being rebranded as the Wings Program in 2010.
"My mother and my teachers inspired the creation of the Wings program by placing a high value on education and passing that on to me," Jordan told The Undefeated via email. "Education is the most valuable tool we can provide young people today to help them achieve greatness."
College scholarships are not the only thing Wings provides to students. It also started the As for Js program with Philadelphia retailer Villa that would award student who achieved good grades with new pairs of Air Jordans. Philly-natives Kiarra Garcia and Ophelia Murray were also awards full ride scholarships by the Wings Scholars Program. This summer, the program has even extended to invite students to intern at Jordan Brand headquarters, an opportunity that Garcia and Murray will both be taking part in. Cribbs will get his opportunity to do the same in Summer 2019.
The Wings Scholars Program has since expanded to include other countries like China and also provides high school scholarships as well. For the full story, check it out at The Undefeated here.