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.
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: UrbanMimi.com, 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.
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