Marshall Strawbridge had lofty aspirations in the fields of business and government long before he began applying to college. Thanks to his new home in Riverdale and the Jackie Robinson Foundation Strada Education Network Scholarship, Strawbridge is well on his way to reaching his career goals.
Each year, 50 high school students who meet a high threshold of academic achievement, financial need and leadership potential receive a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship. Of that group, 10 are selected as Strada Education Network Scholars. With more than 4,500 applicants, Strawbridge stood out due to his impressive accomplishments at The Fulton School, an academically rigorous and intensive Montessori high school in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
The scholarship recipients receive more than just financial assistance. The Jackie Robinson Foundation helps students like Strawbridge make connections for internships and invites them to attend events such as the Mentoring and Leadership Conference. In March 2018, Strawbridge joined the scholarship recipients from past years at a week-long event at New York City’s Marriott Marquis, where he had the opportunity to network and speak with professionals.
Last summer, Strawbridge attended the New Scholars Orientation at the University of Texas at Dallas, where the class of 2021 was introduced to the program and the other scholars. This gave him a chance to hear about what incredible work everyone had done, and learn about what the program could do for him and his career.
“It’s exciting to be part of a program that is really changing what you think a scholarship should be,” Strawbridge said. “It’s not just money. People need help outside of that.”
New York City: Financial Hub with Government Opportunities
With his career in mind, Strawbridge chose Manhattan College due to its ideal location. “New York City’s greatest asset as a college town is its proximity to industry. Being interested in politics, the number of job and internship opportunities that are available to me here is only second to Washington D.C.,” he said.
The College has already helped connect Strawbridge to the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, where he is currently interning during the spring semester. In addition to that position, Strawbridge will spend the upcoming summer interning for Representative Lacy Clay in his home district in Missouri. A government and economics major, Strawbridge will use these opportunities to see if politics is a career path he wants to pursue. He has already had positions in economic development and public education, and is eager to see how the federal government works.
Public service wasn’t always Strawbridge’s career goal, however. “I always took an interest in politics and enjoyed staying active in my community, but I always saw myself as an engineer or entrepreneur,” Strawbridge said. It wasn’t until the spring quarter of his final year of high school when he had the opportunity to intern at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership that his eyes were opened to the possibility of combining all of his passions into public service.
On top of a double major, Strawbridge is a member of the Economics and Finance Society and is part of the Arches living and learning community. In his first year in college, Strawbridge’s goal-oriented mindset has him continuously looking for more ways to advance his learning and achieve his career goals.
He credits his motivation and work ethic to that of his parents. “Nothing motivates me more than the sacrifices that have been made by my parents and their parents and previous generations just so that I can be where I am today with the opportunities that I’m afforded,” Strawbridge said. “In everything that I do, I try to make the most of those sacrifices.”