Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate awarded the $10,000 Jae’Sean Tate BUILT Scholarship on Bold.org to aspiring restaurateur, Victoria Bell, of Lawrence, Kansas. 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.
“Victoria’s application was inspiring,” said Tate, who recently signed a new contract. “At 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.”
In Bell’s winning essay, she wrote about her passion for cooking and baking. After Bell graduates from Lawrence High in 2023, she plans to use the scholarship to pursue her dream of studying culinary arts, according to a press release issued through the Rockets. 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, she cooks and bakes for her family while occasionally create ornate cakes for her two younger siblings.
In her application, Bell shared photos of her favorite work, including a layered cheesecake with a hand-frosted Olaf and a cake inspired by DreamWorks’ Madagascar movie with hand-frosted penguins.
“I feel truly blessed to have won this scholarship, and I am thankful to Jae’Sean Tate for creating the BUILT scholarship,” Bell said after receiving the $10,000 award. “I had applied to so many smaller scholarships on Bold.org 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!”
Education has always been deeply important to Tate, he explains. As a four-year student-athlete at Ohio State University, Tate says that graduating with a college degree is one of his proudest accomplishments. From there, Tate took the unconventional route of playing internationally — playing two seasons in Belgium and Australia — before getting his first NBA opportunity in late 2020 with the Rockets.
At 25 years old, and with the help of a marketing campaign backed by Houston’s local coffee community, Tate achieved NBA All-Rookie First Team honors for the 2020-21 season. He built on that success with another strong season in 2021-22, and Tate has since earned his first major contract as he enters his third NBA season this fall.
That’s our guy, @o_tate_ 👏
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 28, 2022