4 Rivers announces new scholarship program for Black students

4R Black Youth Scholarship Program comes from a partnership between 4R Restaurant Group, Orange County Public Schools

WINTER PARK, Fla. – 4R restaurant group, which operates 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, is now establishing a scholarship program for Black students in the state of Florida.

According to the company, the money funding the scholarship is raised from a percentage of each purchase made on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at any 4R Restaurant Group restaurant. This past year, $20,000 was raised, according to the release.

“4R Restaurant Group is committed to continue raising (funds) for years to come,” the release reads.


“A commitment to serving the community has always been at the heart of our company” John Rivers, Founder and CEO of 4R Restaurant Group, said in a statement. “We’re elated to further this commitment by announcing the launch of the 4R Black Youth Scholarship Program created to foster hope and open doors for aspiring students by way of financial support. We hope this Scholarship blesses not only students but inspires other Florida businesses to invest in their communities to change the lives of the families they serve.”

Four $5,000 scholarships have been distributed to Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida A&M University and Valencia College.

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Students looking to apply for the scholarship can apply through each school’s financial aid office. News 6 has reached out to Foundation for Orange County Public Schools for more information about how students can apply for that scholarship. This story will be updated with that information when it is available.

The 4R Black Youth Scholarship Program is being run in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, according to a news release.

Rivers has worked with OCPS previously through his 4 Roots farming initiative, helping to build agricultural programs at Ocoee and Edgewater High Schools and has a deal with the district to make a third at another school.

“100% of everything that’s grown at both of those facilities, goes back into the high school cafeterias, which is really, really neat,” Rivers said in August.

John Rivers spoke more about his partnership with Orange County Public Schools on the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.