John Lewis Scholarship


“The 1960’s were a time of great turmoil and tensions in many arenas of life. The war in Viet Nam was escalating, the Civil Rights Movement was gaining great momentum, the counter culture of free love, drugs, and a Hippie lifestyle touched the lives of thousands of dissatisfied youth.

Despite the racial tensions of America in this era, the City of Bridgeport displayed vision, wisdom, and courage as they appointed the first African American Head Football Coach in Fairfield County at Warren Harding High School, John Lewis. He had been an outstanding three sport athlete while a student at Harding, graduating in 1955. After graduation he accepted an athletic scholarship to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he played 3 sports. After a year of study John Lewis joined the US Marine Corp and served for three years as a Military Policeman. He completed his BA degree In History and continued his football career at Central State in Ohio. After graduation, he completed training camp with the Detroit Lions before being cut due to a quota for African American players in place at that time.

Coach Lewis started his coaching career as an assistant at Bassick High school. In the Fall of 1968, Coach Lewis began a distinguished career as both a teacher and coach at his alma mater. In fact during his years at Harding he became far more than a committed and creative coach. He coached the football team from 1968-1989 and won the MBIAC title three times. John Lewis was not just an excellent coach, he was a mentor, father figure, role model, and inspiration to countless students both Black and White. He taught discipline on and off the field. He monitored the classroom grades and behavior of his players and held them to a standard of integrity. Even star players were benched if they violated team expectations. He was not just developing players, he was shaping lives. Many of his players went on to distinguished careers as teachers, computer specialists, businessmen, coaches and clergy.”

Award Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June 21st, 2019

Applicants should be high school seniors and should have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Please see below for more restrictions in greater detail.


Eligibility Requirements
GPA: 2.5
Class year: High School Senior
Residency: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Gender: Female, Male
Income Household Income of $70K and under
Other selection criteria: Brideport, CT Student Athlete, Academic Achievements,Enrollment or acceptance as a full-time student at an accredited 4-year undergraduate institution located in the United States of America.


We will need the following:

ATP’s Application: ATP’s 2019 Scholarship Application
A ‘Letter of Recommendation’ from a teacher
2 References
Financial Statements such as: Most recent tax returns
High School Transcript(s) – Unofficial
SAT/ACT Reportings
500 word essay on how you faced and overcame adversity – Should be typed in 12 pts, Arial font & double spaced