Jack Manning ’16 first recipient of BC Strong scholarship

Patrick Downes presents BC Strong scholarship to Jack Manning ’16. (photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Ms. Kensky and Mr. Downes with Jack and his mother. (photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Ms. Kensky and Mr. Downes with Jack. (photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Jack Manning ’16, a Boston College sophomore, became the first recipient of the BC Strong scholarship in a ceremony today at Boston College. The new scholarship was presented by Jessica Kensky and her husband, 2005 BC graduate Patrick Downes, who were newlyweds when both lost legs in the Marathon bombings in 2013.


The scholarship was the brainchild of group of close friends and BC classmates of Downes. The couple spent their long healing process reaching out to others impacted by traumatic injuries, especially people who have undergone amputations. Ms. Kensky and Mr. Downes felt Jack was a perfect fit for the scholarship.


As a young child, Jack endured a battle with cancer that led to his losing half his leg to the disease. Yet throughout his years at Roxbury Latin, he continued to play sports, competing in both baseball and football. Jack counsels young patients and their parents at Boston Children’s Hospital and is currently preparing for his third ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Jack tells children facing the kind of amputation that he experienced as a child, “You can still be active…and not let it limit you,” he said.


Mr. Downes also sees the scholarship as part of an effort to make BC more inclusive and more navigable for people with physical limitations, and to build a community of support and mentorship.Read the Globe article here.