The inaugural class of Ozzie Newsome Scholars has been selected. Each of Maryland's four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore – selected five Baltimore City Schools' graduates as Ozzie Newsome Scholars for their incoming freshman class.
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife, Renee, created the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, which funds scholarships for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates who attend an HBCU in Maryland in honor of Ozzie Newsome – the Ravens' longtime personnel executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer. The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation made a $4 million gift in his name to Maryland's HBCUs, providing $1 million in scholarship funds to each.
Beginning with this schoolyear, 20 new freshmen scholars will be selected every year for four years, producing a total of 80 Ozzie Newsome Scholars throughout the course of the program.
Ozzie Newsome Scholars will receive an annual college scholarship of $10,000 for up to five years of college, for a total investment of up to $50,000 per scholar. Ozzie Newsome Scholars will participate in the CollegeBound Foundation's College Completion Program. The Bisciotti Foundation donated an additional $400,000 to the CollegeBound Foundation to fund the Newsome Scholar's participation in the College Completion Program.
Through CollegeBound, the scholars will be guided by a college completion advisor, work with a peer mentor (an upperclassman on campus at the HBCU) and join other Baltimore City Public Schools graduates in an overnight "transition to college workshop." The scholars will also partake in three annual skill-building seminars.
The 2022-23 Ozzie Newsome Scholars are:
|Bowie State University|
|Riauna Janae Poole|
|Asia Aaliyah Ross|
|Aaron R. Sloan|
|Coppin State University|
|Morgan State University|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore|
At a recognition event for the Ozzie Newsome Scholars last week, Steve Bisciotti congratulated the inaugural class and said: "I know you will learn and accomplish a great deal over the next several years, as you work to become the future leaders of Baltimore and Maryland."
Ozzie Newsome also met with the scholars to provide advice and encouragement.
"I'm excited to see our deserving students embrace this opportunity and take the next step in their academic lives," Newsome later stated. "I have several family members who attended HBCUs, and my admiration for these special institutions is immense. It is an honor to be involved with this amazing scholarship, and I am and incredibly grateful to Steve and Renee for their generosity."