Raheem Washington says he’s been given a gift, one he is more than willing to pay forward. The Mansfield Senior High graduate is the first recipient of the Tyger Scholarship, created by the Mansfield/Malabar Alumni Association, and bolstered through the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign.
“The Tyger scholarship was a blessing,” Washington said. “It was so random, I didn’t think I would even be eligible. I hope I can help them bring more awareness to the scholarship.”
Mansfield students simply need to graduate on time and complete university admissions paperwork to be eligible. Ohio State Mansfield math professor Lee McEwan suggested that Washington apply. Family Engagement and Outreach Coordinator Renee Thompson, who maintains an office at the high school, further planted the idea with Washington that he could attend college.
Washington, who is pursuing a degree in Education to teach middle and high school math, spent five years in McEwan’s Algebra Project. High school students in the program commit to enrolling in a double-period of math throughout high school.
The freshman is also involved in STEMpowerment at the campus, which provides mentors and service learning experiences between college and K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and math.
Washington walked away from a chance to play college football to attend Ohio State Mansfield.
“I fell in love with this program more than football,” he says, simply. “I could see myself doing more here in five years than after five years of playing football.”
Washington sees himself staying in the Mansfield area as a teacher, football coach, and eventually, a principal. He also wants to teach the Algebra Project in his own classroom.
“I want students to know that education is valuable,” he said. “You hear adults say it, but I think the young-on-young perspective is the best way to go about it, with students staying positive to students.”