Described in The New York Times in 2008 as what "might be the best educational effort in the country," the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a national, not–for–profit, organization founded in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson through the advancement of higher education among underserved populations. Uniquely, JRF provides generous four–year college scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential. JRF's hands–on, four–year program includes peer and professional mentoring, internship placement, extensive leadership training, international travel and community service options, the conveyance of practical life skills, and a myriad of networking opportunities. JRF's strategic combination of financial assistance and support services results consistently in a nearly 100% college graduation rate.
Staffed by 20 full–time employees and 90 volunteer professionals across 8 geographic regions, JRF not only boasts a high graduation rate but develops leaders who are prepared to compete effectively in the workforce of a global economy. With an average of 250 students enrolled in the program annually, JRF has had many years of success and experience with a diverse minority student population matriculating at between 90 and 100 colleges and universities across the country, varying slightly from year to year. 1400 professionals proudly call themselves JRF alumni, having been molded into dynamic leaders with a commitment to community service and the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson. Since its inception, the program has attracted the broad support of hundreds of companies, philanthropic institutions and individuals.