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Coppin State University creates Freddie Gray scholarship for Carver High School graduates

Coppin State University has created a scholarship named for Freddie Gray that benefits graduates of his alma mater, Carver Vocational Technical High School in Baltimore.

Gray’s sister, Fredericka, joined Coppin State officials on campus Tuesday to announce the scholarship. Gray’s death in 2015 from injuries suffered in police custody sparked days of unrest in Baltimore and drew national attention to the policing of Black communities.

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The scholarship was created after an alumnus contacted the school with the idea to offer financial aid in Gray’s name with his family’s permission, Coppin State President Anthony Jenkins said. Local organization Philanthropik helped facilitate the discussions and a $25,000 donation from McDonalds to the fund.

University officials say the scholarship will be awarded to a graduate or graduates of Carver’s class of 2022. Organizers said they still were working out details about the scholarship program, such as how many students will benefit and whether it will continue after this year.

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Fredericka said it was good to see her brother’s name attached to the Baltimore community. Gray lived about a mile from the Coppin State campus.

“I think it’s real nice that someone is giving back to the community that we grew up in,” she said.

Jenkins hopes the scholarship will build more opportunities for students in surrounding communities and solidify the university’s role as an anchor institution in Baltimore.

“This is about the young people and the opportunities they’re going to have leaving Carver and where they get to go,” Jenkins said.

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