So you think that much hyped kicks everyone is wearing is just plain fashionwear? Think again.
Jordan Brand, the sports wear with the iconic image of the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan no less, is not just sole-ful but also soul-ful.
Over five years ago, Jordan Brand began its Wings Scholars Program, an initiative that has provided students from disadvantaged areas with full-ride scholarships to college.
Since the Wings Scholars program began globally in 2015, 1,800 students have been funded in North America and Greater China. The latest recipients of the scholarship reside from various cities across the country including New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, and Portland. Not only will each student be awarded a full ride to their four-year university, but they will be receiving a series of resources throughout their studies including one-on-one mentorship and internship opportunities with the brand.
And now, it’s here in the Philippines and six lucky students will be the pioneering batch of the Jordan Brand Wings program.
The community impact platform provides education opportunities for youth who need it most around the globe.
Six high school graduates will receive four-year scholarships to Ateneo de Manila University and pursue the course of their choice. Jordan Brand partnered with children’s rights organization Bahay Tuluyan to identify the six young students who are now part of the global community of Wings Scholars pursuing their dreams of excelling in life through quality higher education.
In partnership with Bahay Tuluyan, each Wings Scholar will also receive skills training, career guidance and mentorship throughout their 4-year tenure at the university.
“Showing up for basketball culture is core to our purpose at Jordan Brand,” says Craig Williams, Jordan Brand President. “And when you think about the community in Manila who shows so much love for the game, it only makes sense that we would bring Jordan Wings to them, to extend this spirit of excellence.”
Jordan Brand Ambassador
Kiefer Ravena, Ateneo alumni and Jordan Brand’s first Filipino athlete who currently plays in the B. League, Japan’s men’s professional basketball league, welcomed the six scholars to the Jordan Family. “Ateneo de Manila University instills in its students a spirit of excellence through education and a commitment to give back to the community – a value which now connects the six scholars with the Jordan Brand Wings Scholars Program’s own purpose. With the power of these two organizations behind them, the path for these scholars is bright and I wish them every success in their future,” Kiefer says.
So far, the Wings Scholars program has been launched in the United States, China and France. The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to join the global initiative which has funded more than 2,886 students since 2015.
Let’s meet the Wings Scholars from the Philippines, Class of 2026.
First up is sports-minded Jürgen San Agustin from Ateneo de Zamboanga will pursue a BS in Management Information Systems, specializing in analytics. He desires to be an NBA analyst one day.
No. 2 is Lean Villar, a volleyball enthusiast, wants to become a clinical psychologist to promote mental health and wellbeing and will major in psychology.
Third one is Czarina Leviste who will take up a BA Health Sciences degree with an aim to provide free health services to more people in the future. Fourth is Harriet De Leon who has been exposed to special education through her parents, will major in political science and aspires to open doors to education for all kids one day.
Science-inclined badminton athlete Adrian De Guzman is the firth scholar and he wants to make the most of his education. As a student of B.S. Computer Science, he wants to give back to the community and the future generation. Finally, there Math-whiz Coleen Reyes who will take up Applied Mathematics and masters in Data Science and aims to create tools that will help change the game for those who seek mentorship, guidance and education.
This first group of Jordan Brand Wings Scholars is scheduled to graduate in 2026.
Jordan Brand’s support doesn’t stop at the scholarship. The Wings initiative is there to support students throughout the entirety of their college experience and beyond. Through this program, students can fully focus on their studies, without the stress of college payments or loans, and have the opportunity to attend the school of their dreams.