By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

The Rose Bowl Institute awarded four scholarships as part of its Rose Bowl Sportsmanship Initiative (ROSI) and its 2020 Women’s Empowerment Symposium, which was held virtually in September.

The four ROSI scholars are Elisa Jimenez of the University of California, San Diego; Claire Killeen of La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad; Sydney Spencer of University High School in Irvine and Stephanie Tian of the University of Pennsylvania.

The scholars receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Rose Bowl Institute to continue their schooling. The awards are in recognition of their essays on how an act of sportsmanship changed their lives and how a speaker at the Rose Bowl Institute’s Women’s Empowerment Symposium impacted them. Out of 1,100 registered Symposium attendees,100 entered the competition for the scholarships, from which these four ROSI Scholars were selected.

“The essays displayed outstanding character and maturity from each entrant.  The winners were able to relate presentations at the symposium and personal acts of sportsmanship to their lives as young sportspeople, leaders, and ultimately citizens of their communities,” said Rose Bowl Institute president Charlie Firestone.  “Frankly, we were blown away by the quality of the submissions.”

The contest asked each entrant which speaker at the symposium they gained the most impact from and why, and secondly, how a moment of sportsmanship changed their perspective on their responsibilities to society. 

“It was very difficult to choose winners,” said Lauren Hall, the Rose Bowl Institute’s director of programs, and symposium organizer.

“But what really impressed us was the commitment and ethics that these young women experienced from their sportsmanship moments.” 

Speakers at the event included actress and activist Sophia Bush, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, women’s soccer stars from the 1999 World Cup Champion Women’s Team Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy, and other athletes, executives and women leaders. 

“The Rose Bowl Stadium’s history is special not just because of our local community, but communities around the globe,” said Rose Bowl chief development officer Dedan Brozino. “With attendees to the symposium from 33 states and seven countries, we are thankful for our donors that supported these scholarship winners and those that will have an opportunity to participate in future programs.”

The Rose Bowl Institute’s mission is to “champion sportsmanship and leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.” Its three pillars, sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship were reflected in the speakers and sessions of the Women’s Empowerment Symposium held online over three days in September.  The symposium was the second in an annual series.

For more information, visit or email