The motto of UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.” And to help invest in young leaders’ academic and professional aspirations, Disney just announced “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program”—a $1 million commitment to UNCF that will provide scholarships to outstanding African American students.
“Higher education is the key to a successful future, especially in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said during the announcement. “Our program with UNCF will provide tools and resources to make college more accessible for promising students in historically underserved communities, so they are prepared and empowered to achieve their career dreams.”
The program also includes the creation of a Career Navigator web-based platform that will provide both career information and tools to a broad network of African American students, as well as targeted support services to scholarship recipients.
“UNCF works to ensure our future leaders have the opportunity to obtain the college degrees they need, and our nation needs them to have,” UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax added. “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program expands their academic training into practical experiences, to create a diverse pipeline of college educated professionals poised to assume fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. The investment we are making in better futures for them now will pay dividends in years to come when they become our next generation of leaders.”
Paying for college is often the greatest hurdle to achieving a bachelor’s degree, especially for the students UNCF traditionally serves—low-income youth and the first in their families to go to college, with more than 50 percent coming from families whose incomes are less than $30,000 per year. Applicants will be selected based on a competitive application process administered by UNCF.