The perfect combination of forces coming together has resulted in an outstanding partnership for PCA-Pacific Northwest. In 2015, Nike’s Brand Jordan launched the Wings Scholarship program and selected 6 non-profits from select cities across the US and China to include in their scholarship program. PCA-PNW was fortunate enough to be one of the six chosen.
The mission of the Jordan Wings Scholarship is to, “unlock opportunities for youth and level the playing field through education, mentorship and education”. Their mission aligns perfectly with that of PCA and their longtime partner, Portland Interscholastic League Schools (PIL), who both strive to use athletics to foster life lessons through sports with a focus on diversity, inclusivity and equity.
The Jordan Wings Scholarship program is a gap fund scholarship paying the difference between what a family can afford and what it would take for them to get to college. They will cover the cost for all 4 years and beyond for additional years of education. They focus on how kids can soar and how having college paid for would help them and their future.
Because of this great fortune, PCA-PNW has been in a position to offer this amazing opportunity to the Portland Interscholastic League Schools. PIL athletic directors are asked to nominate 2 students each year- one male and one female- to be considered for the scholarship opportunity. With 9 schools in the PIL system, a total of 18 students are selected and then narrowed down to 3 who are chosen to apply.
PCA-PNW requires the PIL schools to select the students from those who participate in PCA’s Character and Leadership Development Program which was developed in 2019 and provides skills empowering student-athletes to promote and inspire others to adopt the PCA-Way. Through the course of six workshops, athletic directors work alongside the athletes developing leadership skills, learning the values of growth mindset and addressing social-emotional learning through sports. The skills athletes develop will be evident on the field and transfer to other areas of their lives.
Hernando Magallanes from Franklin High School in the Southeast area of Portland was one of the CLD participants who was nominated for the scholarship and ultimately became one of the three students given the opportunity to apply. He was named a Class of 2025 Wings Scholarship winner this year. “Nando” as he prefers to be called, found out about the CLD program during his junior year of high school and jumped right into the opportunity. Nando indicated the programming appealed to him, “Because I want to become a better leader...everyone at my school always says I’m a leader in class and sports, but I want to become a better one”.
Nando has worked very hard throughout school, both in his academics and in sports. He shared that his drive comes from his parents who emigrated to the US in 2002, “because they wanted to provide me with more opportunities and a better life since there aren’t many back in Peru”. He saw his parents, “always push themselves to be better, to do better and I was the reason they did that, so the reason I put all of the work in now is for them.”
Nando has a 4.2 unweighted GPA and participates in 3 sports- just adding wrestling his senior year to improve his skill set to play football at Lewis & Clark College where he plans to study biology and earn a degree in sports medicine. Nando shared his reaction to being named a scholarship winner saying, “It has a huge impact on me...it means that all of the work I put in was worth it- all the long hours, the late nights and early mornings were all worth it”.
It is incredibly rewarding to see the benefit of PCA partnerships and programming come to fruition in such a meaningful way. The opportunity to apply for and win the Jordan Wings Scholarship will most certainly change the opportunities available to Nando and will impact his family for the long term. Congratulations to Hernando Magallanes and all of the Class of 2025 Jordan Wings Scholarship winners.