BY HANNAH MALLARD
Attention all STEM-focused high school seniors planning to attend a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the fall of 2021: HBCU Week Foundation Inc. in partnership with AIChE, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and The Chemours Company encourages you to apply for the Future of Stem Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) scholarship opportunity by Feb. 15.
With a recent investment of $7.2 million, The FOSSI program is excited to award scholarships to 150 STEM students nationwide this spring. Each student selected for the initiative will receive a $40,000 scholarship award over their four-year, undergraduate career. This generous amount is enough to cover in-state tuition for many students as well as greatly decrease out-of-state tuition costs.
Ashley Christopher, the founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, said, “I am proud of this partnership between the HBCU Week Foundation, AIChE, the American Chemistry Council and Chemours. It is through partnerships like these, that black and brown children nationwide can actualize their full potential at HBCUs while minimizing the burden of student debt.”
The mission of HBCU Week “is to encourage high-school aged Youth to enroll in HBCUs, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America.” Christopher believes the FOSSI program fulfills this mission and more.
Christopher, a double HBCU alum herself, knows “STEM is going to unlock our future.” She is excited about this FOSSI scholarship opportunity for many reasons, one being that it “reinforces the representation we need to see in the medical profession.” After all, “you have to study STEM to get there,” she said.
Dr. Kimberly White, a scientist at the ACC and another alum of an HBCU, was a beneficiary of a similar scholarship during her educational career. She knows from personal experience how life-changing this program will be for students in ways far beyond the financial support.
“This is not just a scholarship,” she said. “It’s multifaceted. We are also providing mentorship, internship and networking opportunities … and the students will make lifelong relationships through this program”
Christopher made similar remarks about the opportunity, lending that this program and its leaders will support students long after they graduate college.
“When we came together to establish this opportunity, one of the first things we said is, ‘We do not want this to be purely transactional.’” She continued, “We will do everything we can to make sure all of these students succeed, whether it is in their academics or their personal lives.”
White is excited about the FOSSI program, especially since it is the first-of-its-kind “collaborative effort in the industry.” She and Christopher are looking forward to the future of STEM education at HBCUs and are proud to announce that this will be an ongoing initiative: highschool juniors, be on the lookout for this opportunity next year!
STEM-focused or interested high school seniors planning on attending an HBCU this fall should read more about this opportunity and apply online at www.hbcuweek.org/FOSSI/. The HBCU Week team is looking forward to awarding this scholarship to 150 outstanding scholars this spring.