*McDonald’s USA has launched a $500,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Fund to help students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), scholarships will be distributed for the 2020-2021 academic year. The announcement comes in conjunction with the launch of the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience, in which McDonald’s officially kicks off its partnership with the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative, via press release.
“We know that education is the key to success,” said Marissa Fisher, a second-generation McDonald’s franchisee with four restaurants in southeast Louisiana. “With many college students uncertain of returning to classes in the wake of COVID-19, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted. As a brand with roots that run deep in communities, McDonald’s has been part of these students’ lives while growing up and is the place where many received their first jobs. We want to help ease some of the stress caused by this pandemic as they plan to return to school.”
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According to the TMCF, selected scholars must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or above, and will receive a scholarship up to $15,000 for the 2020-21 academic school year ($7,500 for each semester).
“This year, donations to HBCUs are even more critical, as students continue dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and, now, civil unrest and demands for Black equality,” said Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO. “Black students, with allies from across the globe, are calling for companies to do more than issue statements and run ads. That’s why TMCF is excited to further our commitment with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college.”
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski appeared on CNBC earlier this month and said that the company has “created more millionaires within the Black community than probably any other corporation on the planet, but there’s still work to do.”
More information about the scholarships can be seen here.
According to the press release, McDonald’s is also embarking on a collaboration with the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative, powered by Black & Positively Golden. The multi-week program kicks off this fall with inspiring virtual events for student entrepreneurs. Through this program, McDonald’s will also award seed capital and exclusive mentoring opportunities to select participants.
These initiatives are natural extensions of the company’s longstanding commitment to advancing education, as previously demonstrated through its partnership with TMCF and its Archways to Opportunity program for restaurant crew and managers. On a mission to supporting communities nationwide, McDonald’s strives to be a catalyst of change by funding scholarships, leadership training and dream building.