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WILLIE MAYS SCHOLARS

The Program

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.

Beginning in Fall 2021, five Scholars will be inducted annually and receive a Scholarship of up to $20,000 to be disbursed throughout their college/higher education experience. Scholars will also receive mentoring and support throughout high school.

The Inspiration

From playing in the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball to serving in the Army to receiving countless awards and accolades, Willie Mays has led a truly unparalled life on and off the baseball field. Mays played for the New York and San Francisco Giants for 21 seasons. He is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time and was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. He still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and looks forward to being involved in this scholarship named in his honor.

Eligibility

  • Identify as Black or African American
  • Currently in 9th or 11th grade
  • Live in San Francisco
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA in the 2020-21 school year

Program Components

  • Career planning and opportunities within the Giants Front Office
  • Academic programming and holistic support from education and life skills experts: 100% College Prep and Alive & Free
  • College tours
  • Annual financial planning to ensure Scholars graduate with as little debt as possible
  • Special recognition and events at Oracle Park
  • Tutoring, study groups and homework assistance during high school
  • Social and emotional support and assistance
  • College preparation courses and educational workshops aligning with San Francisco Unified School District's standards and curriculum
  • Family meetings that promote nurturing, reinforcement, motivation and renewal
  • Leadership opportunities through Bayview Black Student Union, Brothers Making Change and Sisters Making Change

Note: The Giants Community Fund reserves its discretion to provide some of these programs in-person or virtually and to add or discontinue program components.

Important note to potential applicants:

  • Consideration will be granted to all applicants, including those that have shown extraordinary improvement. While striving for high grades is very important, showing improvement also displays positive qualities. All students learn differently, so please tell us about your personal educational experiences and goals.
  • We value diversity and will strive to have that diversity, in all its manifestations, reflected in the Willie Mays Scholarship program.
  • We are committed to making an impact on the communities we serve, and we particularly encourage students who display exceptional character to apply for this scholarship_._
  • We want to understand your experiences and your passions through your application, so please share whatever helps us get to know you and your unique story.
  • Financial need will be taken into consideration when selecting scholarship recipients, so please be open and honest about your circumstances.
  • Although this scholarship is associated with the San Francisco Giants and Willie Mays, there is no requirement to play baseball/softball or any sport. We look forward to learning more about applicants' passions, whether in sports or otherwise.

The Recipients

Scholarship recipients must meet the following requirements each year, grades 9-12:

  • Participation in 100% College Prep and Alive & Free programs (approximately 10-20 hours per month, depending on grade level)
  • Participate in a minimum of 20 hours of community service per year
  • Maintain satisfactory high school attendance
  • Maintain an annual minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a four-point scale

The Selection

Willie Mays Scholars are selected by a committee comprised of Board Members and staff of the Giants Community Fund, as well as other community partners. The committee reviews the completed applications and the students’ community and academic achievements. Decisions of the committee are final. Applications become property of the committee. Immediate family members of the Giants Front Office and Giants Community Fund Board of Directors are not eligible for consideration of a scholarship.

Application Timeline

  • October 7: Applications due
  • October 7 - November 19: Scholarship selection process (including Zoom and/or in-person interviews with applicants)
  • November 30: All applicants will be notified of final decisions

Have questions? Please contact the Giants Community Fund at [email protected].