Apple Awards 30 HBCU Students Scholarships in $40 Million Diversity Effort

Apple made a $40 million dollar multi-year commitment, the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs.

(Image: Denise Smith Young - fortune.com)
(Image: Denise Smith Young – fortune.com)

Apple awarded 30 HBCU students a one-year college scholarship and a summer internship program at Apple’s headquarters at the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C., last weekend.

[Related: Facebook Launches TechPrep to Improve Diversity in Tech]

Hosted by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) the students were chosen from across 47 HBCUs. The 30 Apple scholars were announced by Denise Young-Smith, vice president for worldwide human resources, Apple. Young-Smith is herself a graduate of an HBCU; Grambling State University.

“The people at Apple don’t just create products—they create the kind of wonder that’s revolutionized entire industries,” remarked Young-Smith at the ceremony. “And it’s the diversity of those people and their ideas that inspires the innovation that runs through everything we do, from amazing technology to industry-leading environmental efforts,” she said.

The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is part of the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative between Cupertino and TMCF. As part of the partnership, Apple made a $40 million dollar multi-year commitment, the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs.

“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 scholarship includes up to $25,000 for their senior year; a summer internship in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple mentor during their senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their campuses to build awareness about the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; an invitation to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion Experience in Cupertino.

“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCUs 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 Young-Smith. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”

One of the Apple HBCU scholars, Lauren Patterson, previously interned at Apple. She introduced Young-Smith at the event.

“I learned a lot at Apple last summer. It was a great experience working with people from all backgrounds,” said Patterson. “I love to code,” she said. Patterson wants to do anything “code-related” for a career, including being a software engineer.

Here is the full list of the Apple HBCU Scholars and their schools:

Angelica Willis, North Carolina A&T
Bethlehem Zergaw, Alabama A&M
Bushra-Sultan Yagboyaju, Fisk
Chukwuemelie Onwubuya, Allen University
Dakari Franklin, Morehouse
Darnel Williams, Grambling State University
David Nesbeth, Howard University
Deshaun Crawford, Delaware State University
Ebenezer Nkrumah, Fisk University
Grant Pope, Morehouse
Khaliq Satchell, Elizabeth City State University
Lauren Patterson, Hampton University
Malik Jones, Hampton
Maurita Ament, Spelman
Mya Havard, Spelman
Nathaniel Spindler, Fayetteville State University
Naya Coard, Spelman
Nhan Mai, Alabama A&M
Nia Farmer, Howard University
Paris Griffin, Chicago State
Richard Igbiriki, Lincoln U (PA)
Ropafadzo Ropa Denga, Spelman
Sakshyam Dahal, Claflin
Taha Merghani, Jackson State University
Tatyana Matthews, Elizabeth City State University
Timothy Baba, Huston-Tillotson/Prairie View A& M (3-2)
Todd Boone II, Prairie View A & M
Xavier Crutcher, Alabama A&M
Zanetta Tyler, North Carolina A & T
Gaston Seneza, Philander Smith
Paul Hammond, North Carolina A&T



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