Skip to content

Celebrating 20 years of college scholarships

on November 15, 2009

The tendency for media to focus on violence among Richmond’s youth makes it easy to overlook the many young people who are creating a better life for themselves and the community. Since 1989, the Robinson-Weeks-Robinson Scholarship Foundation, Inc. has helped West Contra Costa County Unified School District high school graduates make higher education a reality, in the hope that they would use their skills to serve others.

The RWR Foundation was founded in 1989 in memory of three African-American physicians who cared for Richmond-San Pablo patients for more than 50 years: Dr. Paul T. Robinson, Dr. Samuel Weeks and Dr. Julius C. Robinson. The foundation has awarded 112 college scholarships to date, totaling more than $100,000.

Speakers Eleanor Boswell-Raine, left, and Terri J. Vaughn dance with guests during the Luther Vandross musical tribute.

Speakers Eleanor Boswell-Raine, left, and Terri J. Vaughn dance with guests during the Luther Vandross musical tribute.

Guests, friends and community leaders attended the 20th Year Celebration at Hs Lordships Restaurant in the Berkeley Marina on Nov. 7 to commemorate the foundation’s work.

“My grandfather would definitely be proud seeing the support in this room,” said Roburta Burroughs during the 20th Year Celebration. Burroughs is the granddaughter of founder Dr. Paul Robinson and a Foundation board member. “We are fulfilling the dreams and priorities that were so pertinent to him.”

The evening’s featured speakers were San Francisco native and actress Terri J. Vaughn of The Steve Harvey Show and Bay Area native Eleanor Boswell-Raine, the associate publisher and managing editor of the Globe Newspaper Group. Ray McCoy of Oakland provided the entertainment, performing a tribute to the late R&B legend Luther Vandross.

The proceeds from the $75 per-plate formal dinner will go toward funding more scholarships.

“It’s very important to know the community supports our efforts,” said Michelle Cooper, a past scholarship recipient and a 2003 graduate of El Cerrito High School. Cooper graduated from Cal State Los Angeles in 2007 with a degree in art. Now she’s an entrepreneur, operating two businesses:, an online vintage clothing and accessories boutique, and Lovinatee, a Christian t-shirt company. “It’s good to come together and help one another,” Cooper said.

This year, the RWR Foundation awarded five $1,000 scholarships to Kenya Wilcots of Sacramento State University, Wesley Ellison-LeBat of USC, Ivonne Estephanie Martinez of Cal State East Bay, Veronica White of UCLA and Dzinya Djugba of UC Berkeley. Past recipients have attended public and private universities in California, as well as out-of-state institutions like Clark-Atlanta University in Georgia; Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.


  1. Carol Sims on November 18, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Dear Carah;
    Thanks so much for the article regarding the Robinson-Weeks-Robinson Scholarship Foundations’ 20th Anniversary. Our recipients represent West Contra Costa’s shining stars, who despite many obstacles, lack of finances, have persevered and completed their education, some have returned to this community and are giving back to the community. These are often the stories not shared with the community. We again thank you for your very positive story.

    Carol Sims, Scholarship Committee Chairperson
    Robinson-Weeks-Robinson Scholarship Foundation

  2. Marjorie Bartlett on July 20, 2010 at 9:35 am

    If Dr. Weeks has any living decendents I would like them to know this. My mother and father are white and lived in San Pablo in 1946 when I was born. Dr. Weeks brought me into this world when I believe my mother was his only white patient. She loved him dearly and spoke very fondly of him. I last saw him in 1964 for a minor problem when I briefly moved back to San Pablo. Even though it had been many years since seeing me, he remembered me well and he was just as sweet as I remembered him as a child. I am happy Dr. Weeks is remembered through the RWR Foundation and the good work it does.

Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Card image cap
Richmond Confidential

Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

Please send news tips to

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top