Inaugural Class of First Ozzie Newsome Scholarship recipients (Courtesy photo Baltimore Ravens)

By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor

Maryland’s four HBCU’s will receive a total of $4 million in scholarships in honor of Ozzie Newsome,  Baltimore Ravens’ longtime personnel executive and Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife, Renee, announced the awards, given through The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation.  Each HBCU will receive a $1 million donation creating the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program. Each of the students selected for the program that has just announced its inaugural class, has graduated from the Baltimore City Public Schools, and has chosen to attend one of Maryland’s four HBCU’s.  

Students will receive $10,000 per year for four years to defray their costs and other supports while attending school. Sonya Santilesis, Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) CEO considers the scholarship a win-win for Baltimore City Public Schools and Maryland’s HBCU’s.  

“This is a win for Baltimore City and our state HBCUs. My thanks go out to everyone involved in this truly meaningful partnership, “Santelises said.  

Maryland’s HBCU Presidents welcomed the support and the opportunity to connect City Schools with the state’s HBCU’s.   

“As the first HBCU in Maryland, we are honored to have this tremendous and impactful grant recognizing the powerful inspiration of Ozzie Newsome’s life of leadership and purpose while opening the pathway to higher education for the youth in Baltimore,” said Aminta Breaux, President of Bowie State University. 

Starting with the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, 20 incoming first-year students will be chosen every four years, culminating in the education of 80 Ozzie Newsome Scholars for the life of the scholarship program.  

Second photo: Ozzie Nelson: (Courtesy photo/Baltimore Ravens )

All Ozzie Newsome Scholars will take part in the CollegeBound Foundation’s College Completion Program. The CollegeBound initiative supports students with a college completion advisor, and an upper-class student mentor who assigned to each scholar at their chosen HBCU. Ozzie Newsome scholars will also connect with each other in an overnight “transition to college” workshop this summer in addition to three annual skill-building events.  

“Any positive impact that can be made to help students – especially in the pursuit of a college education and their career goals – only strengthens our community as a whole,” Biscotti said of the program’s “wrap-around” design. 

“The Coppin State University community would like to congratulate Mr. Ozzie Newsome on having this important scholarship carry his name,” said Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins.  

“Our hope is that the Newsome Scholars will take this wonderful gift they have been given and use it to make a better world. UMES looks forward to welcoming Newsome Scholars in 2022 and the following years,” said Heidi M. Anderson, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  

Morgan State University President, David Wilson welcomed his Ozzie Newsome Fellows to the “national treasure” by inspiring them to gain the tools needed to “dance on the world stage with anyone,” he said.  

“We look forward to welcoming them to our beautiful campus and preparing them to be the leaders that they are destined to be,” Wilson continued.  

Ozzie Newsome is one of the few Black Americans who has maintained a long and cherished career in the NFL.  He was pleased to see his name connected to an opportunity for students to matriculate through HBCU’s.  

““I’m excited to see our deserving students embrace this opportunity and take the next step in their academic lives,” he said.  

““I have several family members who attended HBCUs, and my admiration for these special institutions is immense,” Newsome added.  

Ozzie Newsome has been the Executive Vice President for Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens since 2019. Wilson was the General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-2018. Previously, Newsome held executive positions with the Cleveland Browns from 1991 to 1995, the last season for the Cleveland team. Wilson played with the Cleveland Browns from 1978-1990.  

Newsome was the Cleveland Brown’s Offensive Player of the year in his rookie year. In 1986, Newsome received the Ed Block Courage Ward for playing with injuries, and in 1990, the NFL

Newsome was inducted to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2003, Newsome received the Eagle Award, the highest honor given by the United States Sports Academy for his contribution to international sport. 

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!