Redskins' scholarship helps local girl achieve dreams, graduate college

Yasmine Arrington. (Photo: Alex Parker)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- Yasmine Arrington got the call some four years ago.

“I didn’t believe it. I really didn’t believe it.”

Arrington was in high school in Northwest D.C. then, dreaming of going to college, while dealing with profound sadness at home.

“My mom passed away my freshman year of high school and my father has been in and out of prison so it was just my grandmother taking care of me,” she said.

Enter Arrington’s hometown team: the Redskins.

“We’re incredibly proud of Yasmine,” said Jane Rodgers, executive director of the Redskins Charitable Foundation. “She is a special young person. She overcame against all odds.”

The Redskins Charitable Foundation sponsors a scholarship.

“I applied and got a call from Dan Snyder… and he said ‘Congratulations, you are our 2011 college scholar,’” said Arrington, who was at Redskins Park for the first day of offseason practices. “So I was extremely thrilled about that.”

Arrington went on to study strategic communications and history at Elon University in North Carolina. She graduated Saturday, telling SportsTalk host Alex Parker that she is just the second person in her family to graduate from college. Her father was there to share in the moment.

When asked what kept her going through the emotional lows of her mother’s death and her father’s incarceration, Arrington told Parker: “You know, foundations like the Redskins Charitable Foundation, wonderful mentors, my grandmother, my church family, and studying.”

Arrington now has a foundation of her own: The Its mission is to help other children of incarcerated parents. The Redskins have promised to match any donation - dollar for dollar – up to $10,000 – through June 26 - to help Jasmine help others.

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