By Staff Writer
The theme was Empowering the Community and Changing Lives.
This year was all about the 2018 Scholarship Award Recipients which numbered ten and came from Lincoln High School, the School of Creative & Performing Arts, Gompers Preparatory School, and Morse High School. The ten students being honored this year join 194 others who have received the same honors during the past 22 years.
This year’s class of 2018 received 2,000.00 each in scholarships for a total of $20,000. The award recipients are Jalea Swafford, Lincoln High School; London Harris, School of Creative and Performing Arts; Hector Enrique, Lincoln High School; Kaylene Sayachak, Gompers Preparatory School; Kahtrel Maynard, Morse High School; Kevin Banks, Lincoln High School, Emanuel Rodriguez, Gompers Preparatory School, Brittany Jasper, Morse High School, Asa Head, Gompers Preparatory School and Jazmin Cole, Gompers Preparatory School.
The Gala was originally established to honor the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Since the first event, according to Mr. Michael Bunker, Executive Director of the Jackie Robinson YMCA, “Since 1997, the Family YMCA has awarded over $300,000 to 194 students from Southeastern San Diego to help them pursue their dreams of higher education. In addition, the generosity of our inspired patrons has dedicated close to $2,000,000 to program support for kids and families living in San Diego County’s most critical community.”
Born the son of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia, he went to UCLA where he excelled; he enlisted in the U.S. Army and became a second lieutenant. He was later court martialed over his objections to racial discrimination and honorably discharged. In 1947, Robinson broke the color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first African American to integrate professional athletics in America. He believed that a life is without meaning unless it impacts someone else.
The San Diego Jackie Robinson YMCA makes that statement a reality.