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“Our scholarships go to students with incarcerated parents or caregivers,” said Miss Arrington, a double major in communications and history. “I’ve been there. I know my demographic, and it is children and teens with incarcerated parents, to help them financially and with all the emotional baggage that comes with that.”

She said some scholarCHIPS recipients are attending schools as nearby as Old Dominion and Bucknell universities, and as far away as Winston-Salem State and Chowan universities.

“I was active in church and the community,” she said. “I studied, I volunteered, I paid my tithes, I prayed. I am blessed with the foundation. I get to learn and travel the world. [At the foundation] they encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. That’s my hope for other youths.”

The foundation receives more than 2,000 applications each year from across the nation, with Ms. McLeod and Miss Arrington but two of the shining and the blessed high-achieving thousands.

You can question whether Cooke has been smiling down on the hapless Redskins these days, but one thing is obvious: His legacy continues to guarantee future winners.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at