Tag: College scholarships

Kayla Michele and Chisa Egbelu, Founders of Crowdfunding Site PeduL, Work to Change How Students Pay for College

Afrotech.com‘s feature story on Kayla Michele and Chisa Egbelu, Founders of PeduL, a college scholarship crowdfunding platform, is not to be missed. The disparities in this nation’s higher education system have been in the headlines nonstop as of late, so reading about people who have been working to create and expand equity and opportunity for middle and lower-income students is a joy. So is learning of a new way to possibly support struggling college kids.

To quote from Afrotech.com:

Those systemic barriers can’t be magically waved away, but sites like PeduL help to promote equality in education. From helping students raise money to expanding to provide scholarships and different opportunities, PeduL is a useful tool that all college students should be aware of.

“Our government has slowly enabled college to shift from accessible, yet dispensable, commodity to a necessary luxury,” Michele said. “We’re creating the one-stop shop for scholarships to ensure that all students have equal access to quality education — regardless of the resources and networks available to them.”

To check out PeduL, click here.

To read the Afrotech.com story, click here.

Below is video of Kayla, a Rutgers graduate who was inspired in part to create PeduL from what she learned in her university’s Black and Latino tech program:

Occidental College in Los Angeles to Create $40 Million Endowment for Barack Obama Scholars Program

Barack Obama in Occidental’s Clapp Library sometime between 1979 and 1981. (PHOTO: THOMAS GRUMMAN)

by Mike McPhate via nytimes.com

It has long been one of the lesser-known facts about the life of Barack Obama. For all the talk about the former president and his Ivy alma maters — Columbia University and Harvard Law School — he actually spent the first two years of his higher education life, from 1979 to 1981, attending Occidental College in Los Angeles.

For Occidental, or Oxy as it is known, Mr. Obama has long been its little-known claim to fame. That may be about to change for this 2,000-student private liberal arts college founded in 1887. Occidental is announcing on Wednesday the creation of the Barack Obama Scholars Program, a $40 million endowment intended to cover the $70,000 annual tab of tuition and board for 20 students a year.

It will be aimed at providing four-year scholarships to veterans, community college transfers and those who are the first in their family to go to college. “My years at Occidental College sparked my interest in social and political causes, and filled me with the idea that my voice could make a difference,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. He said he hoped this program would “train the next generation of leaders and active citizens, and fill them with the conviction that they too can change the world.”

The program has raised $7 million, enough to fund two scholarships, starting next fall. The goal is to create a big enough endowment to fund not only scholarships but post-graduation fellowships for students who head into low-paying fields. Mr. Obama, who has been doing quite well financially since leaving the White House, has not yet written a check, but the president of Occidental, Jonathan Veitch, said the former president was high on his list of asks. “I am going all over the world asking people for money,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I ask him?”

“There are not many liberal arts colleges that educate a president,” Mr. Veitch said. “We are very proud of the fact and very proud of him. We thought this would be a great way to honor him and have our students emulate the values he represents.”

Source: California Today: L.A. College Teams Up With a Former Student, Barack Obama – NYTimes.com

Memphis High School’s Graduating Class Earns $80 Million in College Scholarships

(L to R) Dillard University’s associate admissions director Christopher Stewart and Zariah Nolan, Whitehaven High School senior and future Dillard University Student, taken from Nolan’s Twitter on April 24, 2017. (photo via colorlines.com)

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Seniors at an almost-exclusively Black high school in Memphis, Tennessee, earned more than $80 million in university scholarship offers.

ABC News reported Friday (April 21) that more than 40 Whitehaven High School students contributed to this number with at least $1 million in offers each. A call to determine the total number of students who earned scholarships was not immediately returned. Per the Tennessee Department of Education’s website, Whitehaven’s student body is more than 99 percent Black.

One student, 18-year-old Zariah Nolan, earned nearly $9.6 million in scholarships, including 17 full-ride packages. Nolan told ABC News that she applied to nearly 100 colleges across the country using application packages like the Common Black College Application, which allows prospective students to submit to 51 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with one set of materials.

She will attend one of those HBCUs, Dillard University in New Orleans, this fall. “My principal always told us you never know where life can take you so apply anywhere just to see,” Nolan said. Her principal, Vincent J. Hunter, added that the 1,765 student-strong high school stands out thanks to its all-alumni staff. “It’s important for us to be our brother’s keeper and we work hard to make sure our kids are prepared for life after graduation,” says Hunter, who also attended Whitehaven.

Source: Memphis High School’s Graduating Class Earns $80 Million in Scholarships | Colorlines

Rihanna Launches Need-Based Global Scholarship Program to Help Provide U.S. College Education

Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)
Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Rihanna wants to reward students who believe in hard work. On Monday the singer announced the new Global Scholarship Program, which will assist students from various countries in attaining a college education in the U.S.

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation will offer scholarships to residents of Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica who are eligible to attend school in the U.S. and have been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university. Through the need-based scholarship, they will have the opportunity to receive an award between $5,000 and $50,000 to go toward their tuition.

“I don’t think it’s fair that children carry the burden of financial limitations at such a young age,” Rihanna stated. “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor. Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”

The application process was launched Monday and continues until June 10. Fifty winners will be judged on “academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience and a personal essay.” Applications can be submitted here, and winners will be announced in August.

Virginia Church Awards $2.1 Million Worth of Scholarships to HBCU Bound Students

article by Victor Ochieng via financialjuneteenth.com

T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, hosted thousands of students on Saturday, February 20, 2016, where students were awarded scholarships to the tune of $2.1 million, the biggest ever by Alfred Street Baptist Church. The scholarships are channeled to the students through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The beneficiaries of the event, 14th Annual HBCU College Festival, are high school students joining college.

The doors opened at 10 a.m., although students and their family members started showing up as early as 7 a.m. A big number of those who graced the event came from Washington D.C., while others came from as far as Alabama, New York, Illinois, Florida, among several other places.

A lot of things went down at the festival, with $41,000 given in waiver for applications and up to 1,000 students getting admitted to different colleges on-site. More than 160 students received scholarships based on merit.

The scholarships saw some students get full rides to different HBCUs. This is just one of the ways through which Alfred Street Baptist Church employs to positively impact the lives of young people, and it’s such a timely event as it comes during the Black History Month.

“Black youth are often stereotyped as uneducated, with no ambition or drive, but events like these dispute the perpetual stereotype of black youth time and time again, as nearly 5,000 youth registered online to attend our college festival,” said Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church. “Many black youth and their families woke up this past Saturday morning dreaming of a college education and wondering how it would be possible. By noon, of that day, many saw the dreams come to fruition and had answers. God is good and He showed up, and showed out on Saturday.”

The event registered the largest turnout in its history, bringing together more than 3,000 students and members of their family as well as 320 volunteers.

To read more, go to: http://financialjuneteenth.com/virginia-church-awards-2-1-million-worth-scholarships-hbcu-bound-students/

 

City of Oakland Pledges to Fund College for Low-Income Students

Tia Dunbar, 18, takes a look around on a mini-tour from Corey Hill, the College and Career Readiness Specialist as she is filmed by Melhik Hailu of ONews for a feature on Dunbar at Oakland High School's brand new Future Center Jan. 26, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The Center is part of the Oakland Promise Initiative, which is striving to double the number of college graduates in the city within the next eight years. Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle
Tia Dunbar, 18, takes a look around on a mini-tour of Dunbar at Oakland High School’s brand new Future Center Jan. 26, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The Center is part of the Oakland Promise Initiative, which is striving to double the number of college graduates in the city within the next eight years. (Photo: Leah Mills, The Chronicle)

Oakland will launch a citywide effort Thursday to triple the number of college graduates coming out of public schools, an ambitious and expensive “cradle to career” plan that aims to reverse cycles of poverty and hopelessness by raising expectations that all children can thrive in school.

The centerpiece of the Oakland Promise initiative is an infusion of grants, ranging from $500 college savings accounts for children born into poverty to college scholarships of up to $16,000 for low-income students. The money is intended to provide both real and symbolic support, signaling to kids and their families that there’s an investment in their future.

According to officials, who have spent six months developing the initiative and will announce the details Thursday at Oakland High School, it will cost $38 million to ramp up the program over the first four years and up to $35 million annually to sustain it. The money is coming from sources including foundations, philanthropists, the city and the school district.

The effort is something of an experiment, because no other place in the country has this kind of comprehensive, long-term strategy to send more kids to college, city officials said. But the need is great in Oakland, where 10 percent of the city’s public-school ninth graders graduate college.

“Yes, this initiative is ambitious,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “All my life I’ve seen this as the one thing that has held Oakland back.”

Over the next 10 years, officials said, Oakland Promise plans to open 55,000 college savings accounts, provide $100 million in college scholarships and serve 200,000 students and families. Every City Council and school board member has endorsed it, as have 100 community organizations, two dozen university officials and 200 leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

$25 million raised

While sustained funding is the central challenge, Oakland officials say they raised $25 million to launch the effort. The school district is expected to cover $1 million annually, and the city has committed $150,000, a number that may increase now that the initiative has begun, officials said.

The East Bay College Fund plans to contribute $1.5 million per year, while Kaiser Permanente and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. are giving $3 million and $1 million, respectively, to start up the program. Organizers will need $18 million more to cover the costs through 2020, an amount they say is reachable.

“It will be on us to make the case that eventually this would be one of the smartest public investments that any city could make,” Schaaf said.

Continue reading “City of Oakland Pledges to Fund College for Low-Income Students”

Chicago Student Arianna Alexander Accepted to 26 Universities, Offered More Than $3 Million in Scholarships

“It was a lot to take in. I received emails, letters. It was just like, ‘Come here, come here!’ They were bombarding me with all this information,” Arianna said.

Arianna hails from Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. She graduated with a 5.1 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

She was accepted to 26 universities, including six Ivy League schools. Her scholarship offers total more than $3 million.  “I feel like it means I can afford college and I don’t have to worry about it. I feel like that’s an issue for a lot of people my age,” Arianna said.

Her father encouraged her, after another Kenwood student was offered more than $1 million in scholarships a few years ago.  “I planted the seed in Arianna’s mind that you can do the same thing. So when the process got started and a million was achieved, let’s go for two. I said let’s go for three and she did it,” said Pierre Alexander, Arianna’s father.

Arianna is the baby of the family. She has three older siblings.  “It was a big blessing, because I’ve already put three through college. Now I don’t have to worry too much about her,” Pierre said.

Arianna has also picked a school, thanks to Paul Brush, one of her teachers. She plans to attend University of Pennsylvania.  “He said, ‘Do you know about the Wharton School of Business?’ I said, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,'” Arianna said.

“As teachers, we have a big moment to play with the lives that we have in our classrooms,” Brush said.

Her family has also influenced her. Arianna recounted her dad’s words: “Work hard, pray on it, and don’t give up. No matter what happens, you did your best.”

“My wife and I have always stressed to her, if you do your best, you will be the best. So we try to make sure she upholds to that,” Pierre said.

“So as long as you work hard, I feel like there is always a way for you,” Arianna said.

After all, there is still more to achieve besides high school.  “When she graduates from Penn, that will be a second goal. We expect bigger and better things for her,” he said.

Arianna said she wants to be an entrepreneur and plans to own four restaurants. She’s already working on the menus.

article by Stacey Baca via 7online.com

EDUCATION: Seven Creative Ways to Find Cash for College

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(Photo via THINKSTOCK) 

With college tuition skyrocketing, pursuing your educational dreams may seem out of reach. The average student carries nearly $29,000 in student-loan debt. However, you don’t have to be part of this statistic. Each year companies and organizations give away millions of dollars in scholarships to deserving students.

Whether you apply for a $1,000 or $20,000 scholarship, invest your time and talent in showing judges how your education will benefit society. If you’re not willing to help others, why should someone assist you with your college expenses? So make sure you highlight your community service.

Ramp up your search and earn some cash. Here are seven creative ways to find money for college:

1. Social media. If you’re already scrolling through your tweets, use Twitter to locate scholarships. Search using hashtags like #scholarships#college and #financialaid. To stay up-to-date on the latest opportunities, follow @prepforcollege and @volunTEENnation. You could also start a Facebook group dedicated to finding free money for school.

2. Crowdfunding. Last year a Boston University student raised more than $8,000 to help pay for her tuition fees through crowdfunding. Take advantage of your online presence. Enlist your family and friends to spread the word. When you ask for money, don’t be shy; treat people’s donations as an investment in your future. Start your campaign today with one of these sites: ScholarMatchGoFundMe or YouCaring.com.

3. Volunteering. Giving back feels good, and it can also open many unexpected doors. By serving your community, you make your scholarship application more enticing to the judges, who will want to learn more about you. Help out at your nearest Boys & Girls Club or pick up litter at the public park on Saturdays. Plus, if you enroll in AmeriCorps, a national service program, you may become eligible to receive an education award to pay your college costs. Community service is a win-win for everyone.

4. Local sources. Narrow down the competition by applying for scholarships in your area. One highlyuntapped resource is the local newspaper. If you’re in a rush and can’t get a physical copy, read the online version. Scholarship announcements may appear in church bulletins or even classified ads. You also can attend nearby Meetups to ask about potential opportunities.

5. Affinity groups. Free money exists for folks who belong to particular groups. What separates you from the crowd? Are you a single parent, a vegetarian or a twin? Think about all the characteristics that make you different. Your unique quality could earn you free money. Check out this list of unusual scholarships.

6. Arts and crafts. Some scholarship applications may require an essay. But if essay writing is not your forte, that’s OK. Look for scholarships that allow you to express your creativity. From drawing to graphic designing, you can rack up funds with your original artwork. Enter the Create-a-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest or Duck Tape’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest (this year’s winning couple won $10,000 each). Your artistic talent can help you achieve your college goals.

7. Create your own scholarship. Yes, this may sound crazy, but show your initiative! Research and contact small businesses that don’t currently offer scholarships. Tell them about your educational aspirations and how a scholarship could be a great public relations campaign for their business. By marketing your gifts and showing sincerity, you may find that a company awards you its first official scholarship.

Researching and applying for scholarships can be a tedious process. However, the rewards outweigh the work. With commitment and time, you don’t have to carry the student-loan burden.

article by Shayla R. Price via theroot.com

Homeless Teen Ramesha Melson Earns Full Scholarship to Georgetown University

Rashema Melson

Rashema Melson, an Anacostia High School senior and resident of Washington D.C.’s largest homeless shelter, just earned a scholarship to Georgetown University.

“I feel accomplished,” she tells us. “I feel I did something worthy. I feel like I did it. But I’m not done yet.”

What makes Rashema’s story all the more remarkable is when you consider where she comes from. For the past two years, Rashema, her mother and two siblings have been living at the D.C. homeless shelter.

“It’s pushing me to be better, to know what I want in life, and to know this is not what I want, but I have to go through it for the moment,” she said.

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“She is definitely a success story,” said Dora Taylor, a spokesperson with the D.C. Department of Human Services. “She definitely is.”

The department oversees the shelter.

“As you can see, she has no complaints,” said Taylor. “Nothing depresses her. Seemingly nothing brings her down. And she has the right attitude. You know, she expressed to you that she’s grateful despite her circumstances.” “And she’s determined that she’s going to do you know exactly what she needs to do in life to be self-supportive on her own. So we are extremely proud of Rashema.” “I think the toughest part is just moving around before we got to the shelter,” said Rashema. “Because it’s been going on for six years.”

Continue reading “Homeless Teen Ramesha Melson Earns Full Scholarship to Georgetown University”

Learn How to Nominate Extraordinary Teens for McDonald’s 365Black Awards and $10,000 Scholarship

Fast food workers strike at dozens of food chainsFor the first time ever, McDonald’s is looking to the public to help them decide who should be the lucky recipient of their Community Choice Youth Award and be honored during the 11th annual 365Black Awards.

The chosen winners, one female and one male, will receive a $10,000 scholarship along with recognition at the star-studded event that takes place Saturday, July 5th in New Orleans during the ESSENCE Festival.

Know an exceptional teen between the ages of 13 and 18? Nominate them for this prestigious award by visiting 365black.com, filling out a nomination form, answering three questions about the nominee and submitting a three-minute video highlighting the teens contributions to the community. The deadline to submit is Saturday, May 31.

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com