Students of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have just a short time left to apply for the McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship program aimed at helping youth continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

McDonald’s USA will award $500,000 to incoming and current HBCU students through the program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF).

For the second consecutive year, 34 HBCU students will have the opportunity to make their dreams a reality and obtain a college degree – receiving up to $15,000 each in funding for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The application deadline is May 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

“The McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Scholarship has allowed me to be able to fully focus on completing my coursework and clinical [requirements] at Howard University without having to worry about how I was going to support myself financially,” said Maya Rashad, a Howard University College of Nursing and Allied Health Science student.

“I had more time available to dedicate to my studies instead of trying to juggle a part-time job and a heavy course load. Receiving this scholarship has opened many doors and has made me more confident in my abilities as a student.”

“Without this scholarship, I am not sure if I would have been able to graduate this upcoming May 2021 with a zero balance. I will forever be grateful that I received this scholarship and am excited to see others embark on this opportunity as well,” she said.

According to a news release, the scholarship program counts as just one of the many ways “the Golden Arches demonstrates its commitment to helping young, gifted and Black leaders succeed and to serving up bright futures in the communities it serves.”

According to “Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” a study conducted by Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute/Rutgers Graduate School of Education, more students experience upward mobility at HBCUs than any other institutions and nearly 70 percent of HBCUs students attain at least middle-class incomes.

McDonald’s officials said the company understands the impact of HBCUs on Black youth.

“We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with McDonald’s and work with these exceptional students,” Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Amid the uncertainty and confusion of the current state of the world, students remain some of the key drivers of change,” Williams said. “They are rising to the challenges they are facing and working hard to provide much-needed support to their families and communities.

“With the help of partners like McDonald’s, TMCF is committed to supporting these outstanding students and helping them develop into tomorrow’s industry leaders,” he noted.

As the pandemic continues to impact the ability of students to attend college, “we are honored to provide support and financial resources to help HBCU students nationwide turn their dreams of going to and staying in college into reality,” said Marty Gillis, New Jersey McDonald’s Franchisee and National Diversity Marketing Committee Lead.

“We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities we serve and seeing young, gifted and Black students succeed, and couldn’t be prouder to partner with the TMCF for more than 20 years to do so,” Gillis said.

Students interested in applying must meet the following eligibility requirements:
– Be 18 years old or older.
– Be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior attending an HBCU during the 2021-2022 academic school year.
– Have a current cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher.
– Demonstrate leadership abilities and financial need.
– Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551.

Incoming and current HBCU students are encouraged to apply for the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship through May 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST at Winners will be announced this summer.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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