schools.jpgSan Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis announced today the winner of a scholarship award for a local student interested in pursuing a career in the arts.

Niyjale Cummings, a student at San Francisco’s Lowell High School, will be awarded the scholarship by the 49ers star, who runs a nonprofit with his brother Vontae, who is also an NFL player with the Miami Dolphins.

The Vernon and Vontae Davis Family Foundation has partnered with the school district and the San Francisco Arts Commission to provide support each year to a student pursuing a visual arts degree at a university.

The foundation gave $15,000 to a student last year, but the amount that Niyjale will receive is being kept secret until the school district’s Young at Art ceremony at the de Young Museum on Friday, when he will be presented with the award, Arts Commission spokeswoman Kate Patterson said.

Niyjale plans to attend the Academy of Art University in the fall, commission officials said.
“Niyjale’s work has a lot of depth, he’s very talented. And we come from similar backgrounds in terms of growing up under difficult circumstances,” Davis said in a statement. “The difference between us is I had to wait until college to discover art, but Niyjale is doing it right now.”

Davis, who has played for San Francisco for all six years of his NFL career, will also participate on Friday in the painting of a mural at the Bayview YMCA.

The mural is part of StreetSmARTS, a joint initiative between the arts commission and the city’s Department of Public Works to create vibrant art in an effort to reduce vandalism.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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