Initiative Raised Over $17M In Scholarships For HBCU STEM Students
Tara Moore

Historically Black college and university candidates who have an interest in pursuing careers in science, tech, engineering, or math (STEM) are in luck and may have a chance to earn a scholarship to fund their education.

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI), which was launched in 2020 to “eliminate financial barriers” for HBCU students has raised more than $17 million to provide 350 HBCU students with a $40,000 scholarship.

In a press release, FOSSI says the program launched by the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemours Company and the HBCU Week Foundation supports “students from underrepresented communities pursuing studies in a range of preferred science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.”

In its inaugural year, FOSSI provided 151 scholarships. This fall, the program will fund an additional 144 scholarships, bringing the program closer to its goal of 1000 scholarships through 2025.

The program’s Chairman Mark Vergnano is proud of the work FOSSI has accomplished and announced that the program plans to provide scholarships for 1000 HBCU students in the near future.  

“FOSSI aims to have a significant and meaningful impact on the future workforce. 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,” he revealed. 

The 2021 FOSSI scholarship recipient and Spelman student Jadyn Fleming, declared that she was very thankful for her scholarship in a statement posted on the program’s website. 

“I am very pleased to know that my hard work has literally paid off. It is important for students entering college to have means of offsetting its cost,” she said. “FOSSI is helping not only me, but HBCU students nationwide to pursue their goals. They have proven that Black Minds Matter in STEM, and HBCUs are a vital factor in that.”

News about FOSSI’s scholarship project comes after businessman and philanthropist Robert F. Smith gifted his alma mater, Cornell University’s College of Engineering, with a $15 million donation.

Applications for the FOSSI 2023 program will open on September 23. 

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