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NBA's Jae'Sean Tate Awards $10,000 Scholarship to Kansas Student Who Dreams of Becoming a Restaurateur

Lawrence High student, Victoria Bell, wins $10,000 scholarship on to pursue her dreams of opening a restaurant or bakery one day

June 28, 2022

Jae’Sean Tate surprises Victoria Bell with the exciting news

SAN FRANCISCO (June 28, 2022) Today, Houston Rockets’ Jae’Sean Tate awards the $10,000 Jae'Sean Tate BUILT Scholarship on to Lawrence, Kansas local and aspiring restaurateur, Victoria Bell. Tate created the scholarship in November 2021 to support minorities in the food industry who juggle work and school. The scholarship is Tate’s way of honoring those within the hospitality industry who have been impacted throughout the pandemic. 

In Victoria’s winning essay, she wrote about her passion for cooking and baking. After Bell graduates from Lawrence High in the spring of 2023, she plans to use the $10,000 scholarship to pursue her dream of studying culinary arts. With the help of a degree, Bell hopes to one day open her own restaurant or bakery. Throughout high school, Bell has juggled schoolwork with extracurricular activities and part-time jobs such as working at SweetLove Farms. In her personal time, Victoria cooks and bakes for her family. Oftentimes, Victoria will create ornate cakes for her two younger siblings. In her application, Victoria shared beautiful photos (pictured below) of her favorite work, including a layered cheesecake with a hand-frosted Olaf and a cake inspired by the Madagascar movie with hand-frosted penguins.

Birthday Cakes created by Victoria Bell for her younger siblings.

Scholarship winner, Victoria Bell (Lawrence, KS), “I feel truly blessed to have won this scholarship, and I am thankful to Jae’Sean Tate for creating the BUILT scholarship. I had applied to so many smaller scholarships on and didn't get them — so I never thought I would win any big scholarships like this. Winning this scholarship has relieved so much stress in my life. I feel like I can now pursue my dream career!"

Jae’Sean Tate says, “I’m so proud to award Victoria Bell the Jae’Sean Tate BUILT Scholarship on Victoria’s application was inspiring. At just 16 years old, she’s already doing everything she can to pursue her dreams of opening her own restaurant or bakery one day. Graduating with a college degree is one of my proudest accomplishments to date. I’m honored to help someone else do the same.”

Education has always been deeply important to Jae’Sean. As a four-year student-athlete at Ohio State University, graduating with a college degree is one of his proudest accomplishments to date. Tate had to earn everything, taking the unconventional route of playing internationally before getting his NBA opportunity. Tate spent two seasons playing in Belgium and Australia before making his NBA debut with the Rockets. At 25 years old, and with the help of a campaign backed by Houston’s local coffee community, he achieved NBA First-Team All-Rookie honors. 

Tate is part of a long list of athletes and public figures who support education on Other scholarship sponsors include NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Tyrell Terry, professional tennis player Sloane Stephens, producer and DJ 3LAU, NFL Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, Grammy-winning band Imagine Dragons, professional MMA fighter Cat Zingano, actor Terry Crews, singer songwriter Clario and actress Jameela Jamil.