San Francisco, CA

The Giants have launched the Willie Mays Scholars aimed at San Francisco’s Black youth

Amancay Tapia
Mick Haupt/Unsplash

To honour legendary Willie Mays on his 90th birthday yesterday, the San Francisco Giants and their official nonprofit, the Giants Community Fund, have launched the Willie Mays Scholars, a scholarship program that will help San Francisco’s Black youth ‘make college aspirations come true’ and to help them succeed in high school, college and beyond.

The two-time NL MVP award winner; 24 time All-Star,12-time Gold Glove Awards winner, regrets that he did miss out on the opportunity to go to college and further his education so he is now helping others get there by offering the gift of education to kids who would otherwise miss on the opportunity.

Their mission for launching is to empower, help and support youngsters in need;

The Willie Mays Scholarship makes college aspirations come true for San Francisco’s Black youth and empowers them to pursue their goals to achieve success in high school, college and beyond.

The scholarship is a needs-based one available to Black 9th grade students living in San Francisco. This newly launch program will no doubt help to tackle racial and education inequities in higher education.

In San Francisco, only 31% of the Black population (age 25+) attain a bachelor’s degree, compared to 74% of the white population.

The Willie Mays Scholars program will provide additional opportunities for Black youth in San Francisco to prepare for, attend, and thrive in college.The scholars program will start in Fall 2021 with five new ninth-graders inducted annually. They will receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 funded mostly by Giants ownership. This is part of $70,000 "worth of support through high school and college that includes hands-on mentoring and tailored wraparound support services".

The Giants Community Fund will bring together a support team to overcome the barriers that Black students in San Francisco face. They also have the assistance and support of Alive &Free and 100% College Prep to help te future Scholars.

As for Willie Mays, he is now the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame, many in the community and beyond made public their admiration for "The Say Hey Kid". San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, shared via twitter her congratulations and appreciation for everything Willie Mays have done for San Francisco as a baseball player and a leader and mentor in the community .

Happy Birthday to Willie Mays! You’ve inspired generations of young people growing up in this City. You’ve been a role model and a real champion for so many causes, and you continue to represent the best of San Francisco.

Ex-President Barack Obama also send his congratulation to Willie Mays via twitter

“Happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays! If it wasn't for folks like Willie and Jackie Robinson, I might never have made it to the White House. The spirit he played with and the way he carried himself changed the game and people’s attitudes. I’m glad he’s still going strong”

Application for the Willie Mays Scholars will be posted at a later date here

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