Pittsburgh, PA – The Chuck Cooper Foundation has been awarded a $75,000 grant from The Heinz Endowments to fund the Chuck Cooper Leadership Development Program, which will provide graduate and undergraduate African-American students with mentors, a series of personal and professional development seminars, and community service projects with area organizations.

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“The Endowments is pleased to stand with the Chuck Cooper Foundation as it enriches our region through its vision and efforts in cultivating young talent and leadership,” said Stanley Thompson, the foundation’s Education Program director.

Since 2013, the Chuck Cooper Foundation has distributed over $30,000 in graduate-level scholarships. The grant from the Endowments will allow the Chuck Cooper Foundation to provide additional resources to Pittsburgh-area students as a complement to its scholarship program.

“The Chuck Cooper Foundation is thrilled to have the support of The Heinz Endowments as we expand our programs to new undergraduate and graduate African American students,” said Chuck Cooper III, President and CEO of The Chuck Cooper Foundation. “This gift allows us to build on the legacy of Chuck Cooper, who went on to earn a master’s degree after a successful career in the NBA, in developing the next generation of leaders and scholars.”

The Chuck Cooper Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established in 2011 to continue the legacy of Charles “Chuck” Cooper, the first African-American drafted into the National Basketball Association, by awarding graduate-level scholarships and by providing comprehensive leadership development, professional skills, and opportunities to underserved students.


The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.


For more information on the Chuck Cooper Foundation, please visit its website at www.chuckcooperfoundation.org.