The New York Jets and the Public Schools Athletic League announced today the third annual Play Like A Jet college scholarship winners. The scholarships — $5,000 toward the winners' college educations — were presented by Jets head coach Rex Ryan to C'Ara McCrea from Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Brutus Gorum from Bronx, N.Y.
The Play Like A Jet scholarships have been awarded since 2010 to one male and one female PSAL athlete who excel both on the field and in the classroom. McCrea graduates from Fredrick Douglas Academy this month and was a member of the track and field team. She will begin her studies at Syracuse University this fall. Gorum graduates from Harry S. Truman High School also this month and was a member of the football team. Gorum will begin his studies at Penn State University this fall.
"I was in total shock when I found out I received this scholarship," said McCrea. "I didn't think I had a chance of winning since only one girl could win. I am humbled by this great honor and the scholarship will help me out a great deal at Syracuse."
"I am honored to win this award," said Gorum. "I must first thank my coaches and my parents for pushing me to do great things and setting me up for success. I thank the New York Jets for giving me this opportunity."
"I'm thrilled to present these scholarships on behalf of the Jets to C'Ara and Brutus to help them take the next step in life." said Ryan. "I'm impressed at what they've accomplished on and off the field and look forward every year to meeting and honoring these scholarship winners."
"The Jets have provided our student athletes with great opportunities and we thank them for being a true partner," said PSAL director Donald Douglas. "These scholarships will help our students continue to pursue their interests in sports as they attend colleges of their choice. Congratulations to these students."
The Jets support the PSAL in a variety of ways. In 2001, the team formed a community partnership with the league to provide support to New York City public school football programs.
The Jets and the PSAL expanded this partnership in 2005 and named it Heads Up! Through an annual matching grant from the NFL's Youth Football Fund, the Jets donate $150,000 to PSAL football programs each year. The grant has helped recondition every helmet in the league, ensuring the safety of more than 4,000 student-athletes; establish the first PSAL Girls Varsity Flag Football League; create new and developmental football teams, and expand the C.H.A.M.P.S. Middle School Flag Football League throughout the New York City public school system.
In addition to providing funding, the team's support for the PSAL has included hosting high school football coaches at team practices, creating "Captain's Day" for league football team captains to spend a day at training camp each summer, and honoring PSAL football champions at a selected home game during the NFL season.