3 years ago when the Board of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation made the decision to start a Ripken Scholar Award, they were nervous that candidates might be difficult to find. Fast forward to what is now the 3rd year of the program and 35 applications were received from kids across the the country who have been impacted positively by the work of the Foundation. What a difference 3 years makes! The Ripken Scholar program was created to empower kids who have been impacted by CRSF to stay on a path to success. One award, which is achievement based, is available annually and the award winner receive $6,250 per year for up to 4 years.
Every November, information about the Ripken Scholar Award is sent out to our many partners across the country and kids who meet the scholarship eligibility are invited to apply. The task of choosing one candidate out of a pool of talented and deserving students was daunting. The stories that were told and the achievements outlined by each candidate were inspirational and amazing. Each candidate overcame adversity with the help of parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and individual perseverance.
This year, the Ripken Scholar Award will be given to Bessy Banegas who is affiliated with Spring Spirit in Houston, Texas. Bessy will graduate from high school this spring and plans to attend Howard Payne University in the fall. Bessy plans to major in business with the goal of starting her own non-profit where she can work with low income communities to realize their full potential. Her hope is that her organization can change the culture of an entire community just like Spring Spirit is achieving in her neighborhood.
Bessy was honored in February 2019 at the Aspire Gala which takes place each year in Baltimore.
Congratulations to Bessy and the great folks at Spring Spirit.