Paige Bonham, daughter of Barry and Wendy Bonham of Washington Court House, recently traveled to the Lincoln Center in New York City on behalf of The Ohio State University and the Jesse Owens Foundation to attend the International Athletic Association’s Jesse Owens Awards Gala.
Serena Williams was awarded the Jesse Owens International Athlete Trophy and Muhammad Ali posthumously received the Jesse Owens Global Peace Award. Paige spoke to the crowd of over 300, including many former Olympic athletes, about the impact receiving the annual Owens Foundation Scholarship has had on her life and time at Ohio State.
“My time at Ohio State has been full of some of my biggest obstacles but also some of my greatest achievements. Every day I am thankful to have had the opportunity to experience both and I can honestly say I don’t believe I would’ve made it this far in my college career without the caring support of the Owens family and the Owens Foundation,” Bonham said.
The Jesse Owens Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the development of youth to their fullest potential. Established in 1980 by friends and family after the untimely death of Jesse Owens, the foundation perpetuates the ideals and life’s work of this Olympic champion and humanitarian.
The Jesse Owens Foundation seeks to perpetuate the spirit and beliefs of Jesse Owens through its support of The Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Program at The Ohio State University. This program provides services to graduating high school seniors with untapped potential to develop their talents, broaden their horizons, and to help them become better citizens. Currently, the foundation serves as a resource for information and referral on the life and legacy of Jesse Owens and provides its services on a competitive basis without regard for race, creed, color, national origin, or sex.
Paige is a rising senior at Ohio State and plans to graduate in December with a degree in hospitality management.