June 07, 2018

TGR Foundation Celebrates Earl Woods Scholar Program’s Inaugural D.C. Cohort

A little over a year ago, the Earl Woods Scholar Program admitted its first cohort of Washington, D.C. high school students at the end of their junior year. This past weekend, we hosted this inaugural group at our first D.C. High School Graduation Celebration Luncheon at Catholic University. In addition to honoring our scholars, the luncheon provided an opportunity to thank all of our families, teachers, counselors and partners who make our work possible and are invested in our scholars’ success.

Before the scholars took to the podium for their speeches, attendees viewed a slideshow featuring the cohort alongside a special congratulatory message from our founder, Tiger Woods.

As the scholars assembled on to the stage, they gave thanks to all who helped guide them on their journey, thus far. Many spoke about their love for the city, its community and how they hope to be the beacon for it.

This sentiment especially resonated with Raia Lockerman, who will attend Duke University in the fall. “People who look like us have it harder in this world,” she shared with the audience.  “As a result, we have to fight harder for what we want. No matter where we head next on our journey, we have to continue to be great. It matters not your gender, your ethnicity or religion. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward – changing ourselves and the world around us – will apply equally to all.”

D’onte Batts, a future computer science major who will attend Morehouse College in the fall, also shared a similar message. A victim of gun violence at the age of 15, D’onte spoke on the harsh statistics of gun violence in the city and how he was lucky enough to have everyone who guided him on his recovery. “I learned how to walk so I can soon run to college and climb the ladders of success and show others how to dance and eventually fly, even when life strikes you and leaves you temporarily static,” he so movingly shared with the room. “The trend of struggling to make it out of Washington D.C will soon be no more.”

This is an incredibly special group, and we’re excited to see them grow and flourish. This luncheon only represents one touchpoint with them as we continue along with our scholars for the next four years and beyond.


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