Being a student-athlete is no easy task, as you have to walk that fine line between athletics and academics. Thanks to the relationship that the PSAL has with the New York Jets, to reward those who excel both in and out of the classroom.
“The Jets have provided our student athletes with great opportunities and we thank them for being a true partner,” said Donald Douglas, PSAL director. “These scholarships will help our students continue to pursue their interests in sports as they attend colleges of their choice. Congratulations to these students.”
For three years the ‘Play Like a Jet Scholarship’ rewards one male and one female athlete from the Public School Athletic League, rewarding their efforts throughout the year-while allowing their dreams of attending college to be a bit easier.
The latest winners of the Play like a Jet $5,000 scholarship to C’Ara McCrea from Mount Vernon, NY and Brutus Gorum from the Bronx. McCrea, who was an outstanding member of the Frederick Douglas Academy Track and Field team, will look to make an impact for Syracuse University Athletics Department this fall.
“I’m thrilled to present these scholarships on behalf of the Jets to C’Ara and Brutus to help them take the next step in life.” said Jets head coach and scholarship presenter, Rex Ryan. “I’m impressed at what they’ve accomplished on and off the field and look forward every year to meeting and honoring these scholarship winners.”
Both the winners were flying high after receiving the scholarship, as the reward will only give them more incentive to do well as they start their collegiate career.
“I was in total shock when I found out I received this scholarship. I didn’t think I had a chance of winning since only one girl could win,” said McCrea. “I am humbled by this great honor and the scholarship will help me out a great deal at Syracuse University.”
Gorum echoed his fellow recipient’s words saying, “I am honored to win this award, I am really grateful to my coaches and my parents for pushing setting me up for success, and I’d also like to thank the New York Jets for this opportunity.”
The Jets have been assisting the PSAL in a variety of ways, and in 2001 the franchise formed a community partnership with the PSAL to provide support to the New York City public school football programs.
In 2005 the Jets and the PSAL expanded the partnership and named it Heads Up! Thanks to a matching grant from the NFL’s Youth Football Fund, the team donates $150,000 to PSAL football programs each year.
Thanks to the additional funds the PSAL has been able to recondition every helmet in the league, ensuring the safety of more than 4,000 student-athletes, while also establishing the first Girls Varsity Flag Football League. There have been new developmental football teams thanks to these vital funds, while also allowing opportunity for those in the Middle School systems to play thanks to the C.H.A.M.P.S. Flag Football league.
The Jets took things one step further, as in addition to the funds the team has hosted the high school football coaches at team practices, creating ‘Captains Day’ for PSAL football team captains to spend a day at training camp each summer. The team also honors a PSAL football champion at a selected home game during the season.
These experiences and moments are invaluable to the hopes and dreams of the future leaders of America, as these student-athletes hope to fly high to a brighter future.