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Redskins Scholarship Winner Receives Another Surprise

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Four years ago, during her senior year of high school, Yasmine Arrington received a call from Redskins owner Dan Snyder telling her she had received the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation scholarship.

Tuesday afternoon, Arrington was back at Redskins Park, this time with a degree from Elon University.

"[The scholarship] meant that a large part of my tuition would be covered," said Arrington, who became just the second member of her family to graduate. "So that was a big deal for me, just being able to be in school. Elon was my dream school because they were one of the top schools in the country for communications."

Raised in northwest Washington, D.C., by her grandmother, Arrington, who majored in strategic communications and history, has persevered through many trials. Her mother passed away during her freshman year of high school and her father has been in and out of prison.

Those circumstances helped inspire Arrington to start scholarCHIPS, a nonprofit for children of incarcerated parents that grants college scholarships like the one she received. It's allowed her to help students living in the same situations she has experienced.

"I was doing some research that over two million people in the United States today have a parent in prison," Arrington said. "It's real. The U.S. has the highest population of incarcerated people in the world. So it's serious and the question becomes, 'What do the children do, what kind of situations are they put in?'"

The College Success Foundation helped the Redskins find Arrington in their pool of applicants, and their services followed her throughout school, checking in on her progress.

"They're an incredible organization because what they did was make sure that Yasmine stayed on track, just like her organization does," said Jane Rodgers, executive director for the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. "[They're] staying in touch with those that you're investing in to make sure they have success and everything they need."

Arrington, who has been giving out scholarships through her organization since 2011, began scholarCHIPS thanks to winning an afterschool program when she was 16. The program taught them about social entrepreneurship and Arrington's idea awarded her a $1,000 dollar prize, a kick start to materialize her goal.

While watching the Redskins practice on Tuesday, she received more good news.

The WRCF announced they will match any donations to Arrington's organization up to $10,000 dollars, helping her aid the 17 scholars she has already been assisting through school.

"My plan is to become a full time executive director for Scholarchips once we have enough funds so that I can have a sustainable salary," Arrington said.

In the meantime, she'll be working at a PR firm in Washington, D.C., this summer and attend divinity school at Howard University in the fall.

"I'm juggling a lot," she said with a smile.  

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