Ricky Battle Scholarship

The Ricky Battle Scholarship

FYSM™ (Free Your Soul and Mind) is a movement that aims to inspire you to reject the status quo and create your own path, to define what happiness means to you and to then pursue it with great gusto. 

We are asking for your financial support as we work to establish a scholarship in memory of Ricky Battle, a former student of Duke Ellington School of the Arts who represented everything that FYSM™ stands for.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to at least one Duke Ellington School of the Arts senior from the Literary Media and Communications Department. The recipient will demonstrate need and committment to continuing to carry out FYSM™’s mission through his or her post-secondary pursuits. 

Ricky Battle, posing with his puppy.


About Ricky: 

Ricky Battle (1986 – 2012), a native Washingtonian and former student of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, embodied the spirit of Free Your Soul & Mind. Gifted with a talent for writing, a heart for his community, the unique ability to connect with people, and the amazing energy to live every day so fully, Ricky Battle refused to be confined by any one path. He regularly pushed himself and everyone around him to be free and to pursue happiness and true fulfillment. 


What was fulfilling for Ricky was bigger than the standardly successful career: it was a colossal menagerie of community, advocacy, and art. He gave of himself to his local community no matter where he lived, working as a residence counselor for Jones & Associates Independent Living Organization here in DC and later as a case manager for The Refuge in Oakland, California. He also committed his professional talents to organizations supporting causes that were important to him, having served as an Operations Manager for National Children’s Center (NCC) and as a Communications Consultant for Health Care for America NOW (HCAN). Additionally, Ricky achieved his dream of entrepreneurship by establishing his own public relations firm, Quinn PR, and used that as a vehicle to help businesses he believed in and artists he was passionate about grow. Beyond his professional life, Ricky volunteered with a host of advocacy and charity organizations that represented marginalized communities, especially LGBT and homeless youth. All of this he did while authoring short stories and even finishing the first draft of his own book!

Everywhere he went and in everything he did, Ricky Battle touched people. He changed lives. Ricky showed and told everyone the endless possibilities of pursuing dreams, and that contrary to what anyone may tell you, you don’t have to choose one path, rather you can do EVERYTHING–be EVERYTHING you want! 

We hope that you will help us in establishing an annual scholarship in memory of Ricky. It is our hope that we may honor his legacy by helping another student discover their passions and pursue their dreams.

To donate to The Ricky Battle Scholarship, visit our PayPal site herepaypal.me/actifysm


A special thank you goes to Breeze Bennett for her beautiful words honoring Ricky’s life.