“Bright Path” is the English translation of Jim Thorpe’s Indian name, “Wa-tho-huck.” It is also the name adopted by the Jim Thorpe Association for the extensive community advocacy programs focused on youth. Through awards, scholarships, education programs, and athletic competition, Bright Path provides positive opportunities for area youth to build self-esteem and pride in their accomplishments.
An on-going and year round program, Bright Path, hosts numerous events throughout the community. Each event focuses on a different aspect of the core values of the Jim Thorpe Association: sports, academics, health and fitness. Support of the Bright Path Youth Program in turn supports thousands of Oklahoma’s Youth.
The Children’s Challenge focuses on physical fitness for elementary school students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Children's Challenge is the year end finals track meet for 4th and 5th grade students. Students compete in track and field events that promote excellence and a healthy competition. Medals are presented in an Olympic format, allowing students to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
Last year’s Children’s Challenge took place at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City. Over 400 children participated and received goody bags. Inside the bags were water bottles along with several donated goodies. Dr. Gary Anderson handed out Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals as wells as ribbons to each participant.
The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week in October each year. A state-wide program in partnership with the National Family Partnership, the OSHOF Red Ribbon Celebration is targeted toward teaching children about the harmful effects of drug abuse and the many negative effects drugs can have on their lives. The OSHOF provides every school in Oklahoma a guidebook for Red Ribbon activities and every student has the opportunity to sign a pledge to be drug free. Each student receives a certificate of recognition at the end of the year. The Red Ribbon Celebration reaches over 190,000 Oklahoma students each year. The OSHOF also sponsors an essay and poster contest each year to support the drug free initiative.
OSHOF/National Football Foundation Scholarships
OSHOF & Oklahoma Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc. annually presents its Scholar/Athlete Awards to selected outstanding High School football players in Oklahoma. Every football playing school in the state receives an invitation to nominate qualified and deserving athletes. The Oklahoma Chapter is interested in identifying qualified and talented scholar-athletes who represent the cultural and ethnic diversity of Oklahoma. Each award recipient selected receives a $1,000 scholarship to be used within the next six years to complete the student’s education within the rules of guidelines of the NCAA. Scholarships are presented at the Jim Thorpe Award Ceremony each February at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
OSHOF/Oklahoman Scholar Athletes
The Oklahoman and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame together provide two $2,000 (one boy and one girl) and six $1,000 scholarships for eight outstanding student athletes each year. Winners are selected from schools throughout the newspaper’s primary circulation area and announced by the Oklahoman. Plaques recognizing the scholarship winners are presented at the Jim Thorpe All-Sports Award Luncheon at the end of the school year.