The road to generational wealth often starts with opportunities gained and connections made through a quality education. This philosophy fueled the scholarship opportunity launched by bespoke jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz and longtime friend, musician, and philanthropist, Beyonce Knowles-Carter. The Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship set out to award two winners a full ride’s tuition to earn a diploma from GIA, a prestigious nonprofit institution rooted in the education of gems in jewelry. Monday, the two initial winners of Knowles-Carter’s choosing — Audriana Osborne of Alabama, and Shelton Bradford of California — were announced during a surprise Zoom call.
“I was impressed with their passion and the knowledge of gems that so many applicants displayed,” Knowles-Carter said in a press release. “I am praying that this is just the beginning of opening more doors to diversity and raw inspiration in the jewelry industry.”
Valued at an excess of $20,000, the scholarship opportunity was gifted to Knowles-Carter by Schwartz, who said the performer’s wish for her birthday last September was for Schwartz and her brand to support upcoming Black talent in any way possible.
In the end, the scholarship was awarded to three contestants total, as Knowles-Carter and her husband Jay-Z announced after awarding the first two winners that they would then fund a scholarship for a third winner, Kulla Jutani of Washington, who was chosen from the applicant pool.
The winners were chosen based on their personal essays, which Knowles-Carter had spent a month reviewing, each inspiringly detailing their goals and what they planned to achieve with the knowledge gained at GIA.
To learn more about the Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship and its three selected winners, you can watch the winner announcement here.