The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville. The Chris Long Scholarships will promote equality through education by providing two students with a seven-year all expenses paid school program.
The scholarships will be set-up and administered by Long's alma mater, St. Anne's-Belfield School, from which he graduated in 2004. Two members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia will be awarded an opportunity to complete their education at the School, which has an established reputation for offering quality education that supports high personal aspirations and develops exemplary citizens.
Following the events that transpired in Charlottesville this summer, Long and his wife, Megan, were inspired to fund the scholarship program to promote educational equity in the community their family calls home.
"In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry," said Long. "Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community."
The Longs believe a key to producing equality for all and promoting social justice starts with educating the youth.
"We want these scholarships to be reflective of what the 'Cville' community is really about - - supporting one another, social equality and building up those in our community who need it," said Long. "We hope our investment will change the lives of the students who receive the scholarship and in turn, those students can positively impact others."
St. Anne's-Belfield will collaborate with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia to identify two students who will benefit through this scholastic opportunity. The two scholarships will go to students entering the sixth grade and will provide tuition through high school graduation.
"We could not be more pleased that Chris is supporting student scholarships in this way," said Head of School David Lourie. "His commitment to the Charlottesville community and making this opportunity possible represents all that we hope for in our alumni. We look forward to welcoming our first scholarship recipients next year."
The Chris Long Scholarship is the newest program of The Chris Long Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting bright futures for communities and the individuals that make up those communities. Long's core foundation work focuses on providing clean water to communities, helping underprivileged youth, military support, and homelessness.
"Through the foundation, we are committed to serving communities lacking basic human necessities, but we also want to invest in the one in our backyard," said Long. "This scholarship allows us a chance to give back to our community and empower students that don't have the same educational opportunities that my wife and I were afforded."
For the last six years, the Longs have been providing the same educational opportunity for a student who graduated from St. Anne's-Belfield School in the spring of 2017. That scholarship was not made public, but in light of the occurrences in Charlottesville, the Longs feel it is vital that they increase their commitment to educational equity and share their passion with others.