- Scholarships assist students pursuing STEM fields at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Supports Black and Brown teachers to boost retention and quality in the classroom
- Mentorship opportunities with Baxter employees will further extend impact
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the largest organization exclusively representing the Black College community, and the Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), introduced today a new collaboration called the Baxter HBCU STEM Scholars Program. The three-year, $3.5 million initiative funds scholarships and mentoring as part of a multi-faceted approach to support students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) pursuing careers primarily in STEM as well as education. The partnership is focused on addressing lower graduation rates for Black students (44 percent) completing undergraduate college degrees within six years compared to 63 percent of students overall.1
“The Baxter HBCU STEM Scholars Program is designed to help students from under-resourced populations address common challenges to increase the likelihood of graduation and early career success,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “We know that many students experience unforeseen financial hardships that put their plans for pursuing higher education in jeopardy. By reducing financial pressures and creating support networks, students can concentrate on academics and build the experiences needed for achievements at school and beyond.”
TMCF has a history of success supporting nearly 300,000 students that attend HBCUs and creating pathways to economic mobility through degree attainment and lucrative careers. Since its founding in 1987, TMCF has awarded over $300 million in scholarships for students and boasts a 97 percent graduation rate for students in its programs.
The core of the new initiative is a scholarship program for approximately 40 students for three years who are pursuing careers in STEM fields. The inaugural group of students will receive scholarships for the Fall semester in 2022. To further assist students and to help ensure their long-term success, Baxter employees will also provide mentoring opportunities throughout the partnership and in alignment with the company’s ACT: Activating Change Today initiative to advance inclusion and racial justice.
“Our partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund unites Baxter’s longstanding commitment to expanding STEM education with our focus on advancing racial justice,” said José (Joe) E. Almeida, Baxter’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Addressing the underrepresentation of Black and Brown students in the science, engineering and medical fields is essential for nurturing new generations of talent, and ensuring that tomorrow’s innovators and clinicians are serving the needs of a diverse society. We are honored to help the Thurgood Marshall College Fund extend its work to positively impact future scientists, engineers, healthcare providers and more.”
The Baxter HBCU STEM Scholars Program also supports TMCF’s Teacher Quality & Retention Program (TQRP) to help keep Black and Brown teachers in the classroom. TQRP Fellows receive mentorship and professional development starting during their junior year of college and continuing through the first three years of teaching. Additionally, the annual TQRP Summer Institute provides Fellows with rigorous, hands-on training to build the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in competitive and challenging teaching environments, and to be leaders in their schools. In the last 10 years, TQRP Fellows have taught more than 30,000 students, mostly in kindergarten through 12th grade at schools serving students in lower income communities.