Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti plans to dedicate $4 million to support local students who attend historically Black colleges and universities in Maryland. Bisciotti said his decision was made in honor of Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' former general manager and the first Black general manager in the NFL, ESPN reported. Newsome's daughters, brother and many of his elementary school teachers and principals graduated from HBCUs.
The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program will direct funds to students from Baltimore City Public Schools who opt to attend one of four HBCUs in the state: Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation will give a million dollars to each institution.
The universities will each choose five scholars every spring for four years, 80 scholars over the course of the program. Selected students will receive an annual scholarship of $10,000 for up to five years of college, a potential investment of $50,000 per student in total.
“It gives me this great feeling for the next 30 years that I'm going to be running into accomplished people all over Baltimore and Maryland and they're going to introduce themselves as Ozzie Newsome Scholars,” Bisciotti told ESPN. “It's like I'm planting a seed that will flourish.”