In honor of Black History Month, JCYC is proud to announce the launch of the new Thomatra Scott Scholarship! A former JCYC staff member, Thomatra Scott or “Scotty” was an advocate for youth in education, housing, employment, human rights, prison reform, and racial justice until his passing in 2000. Scotty was a true symbol of peace, unity, and activism, and JCYC is thrilled to launch this scholarship for Black youth who exemplify his legacy.
Scotty acted as an important bridge between the African American and Japanese American communities in San Francisco’s Western Addition. In 1969, at the height of the Black Power era, Scotty joined the Pan-African People’s Organization (PAPO) and served as a youth program coordinator for the Economic Opportunities Council’s (EOC) Multi-service Center.
Scotty recognized that the challenges for many Black youth was a direct result of a poor educational system and he counseled hundreds of boys being released from detention centers to enroll in remedial reading courses. In addition, Scotty was a founding member of the Westside Mental Health Center and a member of the Western Addition Council of Youth Serving Organizations.
In the twilight of his career, Scotty took a position with JCYC as a community organizer focused on preventing youth substance abuse. JCYC Executive Director, Jon Osaki, reflects on Scotty’s personal impact on himself and the community. “I happen to be at JCYC the day I turned 18 and Scotty was in the office. When he heard it was my 18th birthday, he pointed his finger at me and gestured me to come over. As I approached, he greeted me with his warm smile and stuck a voter registration form in my hand. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about the importance of participating in the political process, but he was not about to let me leave that day until I had registered to vote. For the first time, it made me think about the importance of standing up and making sure my voice was counted. All of us at JCYC are honored to launch a scholarship in Scotty’s name and cannot think of an indiviudal more worthy.”
JCYC is requesting donations to support Black youth who demonstrate a passion for supporting education and the community by donating to the Thomatra Scott Scholarship, https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/JCYC and selecting the Thomatra Scott Scholarship in the dropdown section at the top of the donation page. You can also donate by mailing a check to JCYC (2012 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA 94115), directing it for the Thomatra Scott Scholarship. For more information, please contact JCYC Development Manager Tony Jenks at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 806-1909.
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