Derrick Rose, the 29-year-old basketball player who was the youngest ever to earn the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award all the way back in 2011, has had a very successful career. And he is as dedicated to paying his success forward as he is to playing his sport. In 2014, Rose donated $1 million to After School Matters, a non-profit in his native Chicago that provided extracurricular opportunities to inner city students.
On August 1, 2018, Rose announced the launch of his own scholarship program, the Rose Scholars program. Backed by a $400,000 pledge of his own money, the program will provide substantial scholarships to students from anywhere in the U.S. who can demonstrate a drive to lead.
“I’m excited to share the launch of the Rose Scholars program, a scholarship program which seeks to give high school students the opportunity they need to make their dreams a reality,” Rose tweeted. In a news release, Rose added, “I hope to provide students a path to college that was not previously available to them.”
Run as a contest, the program will award one $200,000 scholarship to a grand prize winner and $20,000 scholarships to two runners up, beginning in the fall of 2018. Interested applicants will be judged by a short essay and a photo collage or video demonstrating their efforts at leadership in their community. Students are encouraged to enter themselves, but anyone may submit applications on others’ behalf as well.
The application deadline for the 2018 Rose Scholars program scholarships is September 30, and the winners will be announced around October 15.
LeBron James, who just a few days before Rose’s announcement declared the opening of his own school for disadvantaged students in his home town of Akron, tweeted his support for Rose Scholars initiative. Two doesn’t make a trend, but as more and more athletes start charities, volunteer in soup kitchens, and launch schools, hopefully James’s hashtag for Rose, #MoreThanAnAthlete, will catch on and inspire viral participation.
Rose’s contract this year with the Minnesota Timberwolves is worth approximately $2.4 million, and he is halfway through a 13-year sponsorship deal with Adidas for which they are paying him $185 million. This is down from his peak earning period, when the Cleveland Bulls paid him nearly $100 million for a five-year contract. His current net worth is estimated at approximately $70 million.
Hopefully, Rose’s career will continue on a high note and he will devote more resources to the Rose Scholars program and others like it.
Photo: Derrick Rose plays in the FIBA World Cup Basketball Match in 2014. Credit: Natursports / Shutterstock.com