The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, a foundation dedicated to awarding scholarships to Michigan students who hold close to Mrs. Parks' ideals while demonstrating academic skills, community involvement and economic need, is honoring Joshua Smith with a $2,000 college scholarship. Smith, a 9-year-old from Detroit, captured the world’s attention when he set up a lemonade stand to help the City of Detroit recover from a cash crisis.
“The philosophy behind the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is to give young people every opportunity to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities, and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement and the value placed on civic involvement,” said Delora Hall Tyler, president of the Foundation.
The scholarship dollars will go to Joshua when he graduates high school, as long as he meets the eligibility requirements, which include graduating from a public or private Michigan high school and maintaining a 2.5 or above GPA. Joshua’s mother, Rhonda Smith, was herself a Rosa Parks Scholarship recipient, in 1987.
Each year, the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation awards 40 Michigan high school seniors $2,000 scholarships toward their college educations. The foundation, established in 1980 by The Detroit News and the Detroit Public Schools, has awarded over $2 million to more than 1,000 high school seniors. This is the first time that the foundation has granted a scholarship to an individual who is not a high school senior.
“Rosa Parks changed the world and inspired others to make it a better place for everyone. Special consideration for a scholarship was given to Joshua because at such a young age, he is an enterprising civic-minded young man who shares Mrs. Parks’ spirit of service and commitment to building a brighter future in his community. We look forward to fostering our relationship with him as he completes his education and becomes our leader of tomorrow,” said Tyler.
The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is an autonomous entity and is not affiliated with the Raymond and Rosa Parks Institute for Self Development.
Since it was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools in 1980, The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $2 million in scholarship money to more than 1,000 high school seniors. The Foundation awards approximately forty $2,000 non-renewable scholarships annually.