If You Know A College Bound Youngster You Must See What The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Program Has To Offer

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has launched the application process for the inaugural year of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, the largest and most comprehensive scholarship effort in HBCU history. Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer. The scholarship program is open to students in their final year of study from all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI).

“There are “scholarships” and then there are “scholarship programs,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”

The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is the first of several programs under the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative. In March, Apple and TMCF announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of HBCU’s. The over $40 million multiyear commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs. The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.

“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCU’s to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”

The Scholars Program will provide students with a diverse and valuable set of learning and personal growth opportunities that include: a scholarship up to $25,000 for their senior year of studies; a summer internship at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round development program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple employee mentor during students’ senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their HBCU campuses to build awareness for the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; the opportunity to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, DC in November 2015; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion experience in Cupertino, California during the spring of 2016.

The application process is open now and will close on September 18, 2015. For information on the TMCF Apple Diversity Initiative, visit tmcf.org and follow @TMCF_HBCU on Twitter.

UNCF Announces Michael Jackson and Ray Charles Scholarships

The United Negro College Fund strives to make education affordable for African-American students by providing financial resources where other scholarship organizations fall short.

On May 19, the UNCF has announced that singer, dancer and King of Pop Michael Jackson along with R&B legend Ray Charles will have scholarships in their honor. Each scholarship has different requirements. However, both scholarships are only awarded to students who attend UNCF colleges and universities.

The Michael Jackson Scholarship is available to all students who are high school seniors and college students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale. Perspective applicants will need to complete an application on the UNCF site, write an essay and submit a transcript.

The UNCF states that “the scholarship will provide an award up to $5,000 depending on the financial need of the student as verified by the attending university or college. This is a one-time award to be disbursed in September 2015.”

The Ray Charles Endowed Scholarship is for college juniors who have a 3.0. Perspective applicants will have to complete an application and demonstrate unmet financial needs. The total amount awarded to the student is up to $4,500.

Both of these scholarships are due in June. Michael Jackson Scholarship applicants would need to complete all materials by June 13. For the Ray Charles Endowed Scholarship, the date is June 14.

Georgia Tech Highlights Black Men in STEM

For almost a decade, the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees awarded to Black males has not increased nationwide.

So Georgia Tech put together a national panel May 5 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the issue and provide solutions to increase the graduation rates of Black men in STEM fields. The panel was led by Gary May, dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. In fact, the majority of the panel was made up of Black men working in STEM.

According to Georgia Institute Technology News, “joining May on the panel were: Rodney Adkins, former senior vice president of IBM and a Georgia Tech alumnus; Reginald DesRoches, Karen and John Huff School Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech; Jeremy Feaster, Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering at Stanford University; Darryll Pines, dean of the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland; Guy Primus, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Virtual Reality Company; Karl Reid, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers; Cedric Stallworth, assistant dean for outreach, enrollment and community for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech; John Silvanus Wilson Jr., president of Morehouse College; and Kyle Woumn, computer science major at Georgia Tech.”

The panel discussed reasons why many Black males fall behind in STEM fields. The panelists discussed how they succeeded and what solutions could help increase numbers. They also emphasized the need for mentors, hands-on STEM programs in K-12 programs to get young people interested, and they wanted corporations and parents to get involved.

Blerds has covered STEM, discussed solutions for the issues and provided examples of successful Black men and women of all ages in STEM.

Georgia Tech is one example of Black people helping Black people to expand STEM careers to younger people. It is quite possible other institutions of higher learning will discuss and take action to include more Black males in STEM.