Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

Award-winning national journalist, author, television host, and Jack Yates High School alumnus Roland S. Martin is supporting Houston Independent School District students with financial assistance to pursue the path of higher education. 

Martin has established two $1,000 annual college scholarships and has committed $25,000 for the program. One scholarship is for Yates High Magnet School of Communications seniors. The other is open to all Yates High School seniors accepted to an accredited institution of higher learning. Grade point average will not be part of the criteria because Martin is encouraging all students who do not typically receive scholarships to apply.  

Martin grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and graduated from Jack Yates High Magnet School of Communications in 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M, where he began his media career working for KBTX Channel 3. Martin initially developed his journalistic expertise working with several Texas news organizations, including the Austin American Statesman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Defender, KRLD-AM, KKDA-AM and Dallas Weekly.

“Roland Martin’s successful career is an inspiration to every HISD student,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We’re thrilled that he’s willing to give back to Yates students and hope that these scholarships will keep the story of his success alive as inspiration to all HISD students.”

“Everything that I am today as a journalist began at Jack Yates High Magnet School of Communications,” Martin said. “From sitting in the classrooms of Mary Waites, Thelma Johnson, Mr. Miller, Kathy Bigsby, and the countless other teachers, it was important to me to provide an opportunity for the next generation of Jack Yates students to live out their dreams.”

Martin is an author and owner of his own media company, Nu Vision Media, Inc., which produces his daily digital show, #RolandMartinUnfiltered. He has been a syndicated columnist: served as a contributor on CNN, where he was a key member of the “Best Political Team on Television,” as well as the host and managing editor of two TV One news programs: “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” and “News One Now.” He also spent 13 years as a senior analyst on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” On four different occasions, Ebony magazine has named Martin one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans. 

Martin has earned more than 30 awards for journalistic excellence, including being named the journalist of the year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists for his extensive focus on voter suppression and other issues of concern to African Americans during the 2012 election. He is a four-time NAACP Image Award winner and was twice named best host. 

The Jack Yates High Magnet School of Communications is home to one of the most robust High School Communication programs in the United States. It has a multimillion-dollar creative studio facility for TV, film, and radio production. The campus also features a music recording lab with professional-level vocal recording booths and a master control suite. 

The Roland S. Martin Scholarship application process is open until April 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Click here to apply. Students selected for the interview process will be notified by May 10, 2021.