Hennessy has pledged to give $10 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) for its first-ever graduate fellowship program to support students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
According to Diverse Issues in Higher Education, the funding will be issued over the next 10 years through the Hennessy Fellows program. The initiative will provide students with access to financial aid, scholarships, mentorships as well as training and professional development opportunities to better prepare them for the real-world.
Each year, ten students will be selected to participate in the program. These Hennessy Fellows will be awarded with one-on-one executive coaching, a maximum of $20,000 toward their tuition per academic year, and an annual stipend of $10,000 for education-related expenses related to professional development experiences and networking opportunities.
“Continuing a heritage of support and celebration of the African American community that began over one hundred years ago, Hennessy is excited to partner with TMCF to help ensure more diversity in leadership roles,” Giles Woodyer, Senior Vice President, Hennessy US, said in a statement.
More than 100 years of supporting HBCUs & we’re not done yet. We’re proud to unveil Hennessy Fellows—a $10M initiative to aid multicultural grad students. pic.twitter.com/xYX3JXrGJD
— Hennessy US (@HennessyUS) April 18, 2019
The Hennessy Fellows program aims to solve the lack of Black executives on corporate boards and the lack of scholarship opportunities available for graduate students, according to NewsOne.
“The immediate goal of the Hennessy Fellows program is to create a pipeline of highly qualified talent over the next 10 years and help prepare these future leaders for success,” added Woodyer.
Applications for the Hennessy initiative are being accepted through May 5 and fellows will be announced in June.
News of the program comes five months after rapper Big Sean teamed with Ally Financial and the TMCF for the “Moguls in the Making” competition aimed at supporting startups and budding entrepreneurs.
Big Sean said in a statement at the time that his “life purposes is to inspire.”
“Moguls in the Making is all about making the next generation of moguls, finding that hustler spirit and hunger that exists in our youth and bringing that forward,” he added.