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MLive.com – Jalen Rose continues to give back to the Detroit community

March 16, 2010

By Rob Otto – March 16, 2010

Most athletes talk about giving back to their community.  Unfortunately, many of them never get past the talking stage.

Put Jalen Rose in the group that has followed through on his promise.

The Detroit native and former University of Michigan and NBA basketball star founded The Jalen Rose Foundation in 2000, and has given away more than $1.2-million since then.  Among those receiving funds through Rose are 35 Detroit students who were given college scholarships.

In a recent conversation, Rose told me why giving back to these local kids is so important to him, “I’m a product of the Detroit public school system.  It hurts me when we’re closing 30 schools, and we’re possibly declaring bankruptcy.  It’s something I really take personally.  I understand our youth entering ninth grade are among the lowest rate in country to make it to graduation.  I’m trying to help influence those numbers in a positive way.”

In a press release announcing this year’s scholarship guidelines, Rose says his connection with these kids goes far belong the money, “We make sure to stay in constant contact with the students who have received these scholarships throughout their four year experience.  The goal of the program is not only to get kids to college, but to get them to earn a degree.  I feel a sense of pride each time one graduates.”

The Foundation was recently renamed the Jalen Rose Charitable Fund, and will award $10,000 scholarships to three or more Detroit high school seniors this year.  At least one of them will come from Rose’s alma mater — Detroit Southwestern High School.

Recipients will be chosen based on academic achievement, extracurricular/ community activities and financial need.  The details about scholarship eligibility can be found on Jalen Rose’s website.

In a world where we hear about every bad thing athletes do, I’m happy to pass along some details about one of our own who is making a real difference out there.

Many athletes say they want to make the world a better place.  Jalen Rose is putting his money where his mouth is.

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