Several organizations in the chemical and affiliated industries have raised millions of dollars for students pursuing STEM degrees at historically Black colleges and universities.
One of them, the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative, has raised more than $17 million to fund $40,000 scholarships for over 350 students attending HBCUs.
“With an ambitious goal of funding 1000 HBCU students, FOSSI aims to have a significant and meaningful impact on the future workforce,” said Mark Vergnano, former CEO of The Chemours Company and current FOSSI chairman. “These talented scholarship recipients bring new and diverse perspectives to help innovate the solutions that will address global challenges like clean energy and climate change.”
FOSSI was founded in 2020 by the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, The Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation.
The nationwide program supports students from underrepresented communities pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and math. Per the organization’s website, “FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years, helping to eliminate financial barriers for historically underrepresented groups.”
In addition to financial assistance, scholarship recipients receive leadership training, mentoring and internship opportunities via supporting organizations, as well as access to 60 corporate sponsors for hands-on advice regarding STEM-related industries they’re seeking to enter.
“FOSSI is helping not only me, but HBCU students nationwide to pursue their goals,” said Jadyn Fleming, a 2021 FOSSI scholarship recipient attending Spelman College. “By alleviating a portion of the financial burdens that I am facing, FOSSI has invested in the future of STEM.”
“It made a big difference, knowing I could count on that funding,” Carlton Carter, a sophomore at Southern University and A&M College, said of the initiative. “Plus, the mentoring program has been very helpful. It’s given me insight into how business works and what I can expect once I finish my degree.”
FOSSI provided 151 scholarships to HBCU students in its inaugural year, and an additional 144 scholarships will be funded this fall. The program aims to award 1,000 scholarships through 2025.
The 2023 FOSSI application period will open on Friday, Sept. 23. To learn more, visit FutureOfSTEMScholars.org.
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