On Tuesday, Sodexo, a company that focuses on food services and facilities management, especially in higher education, announced it is creating a $10 million scholarship fund “for its U.S. frontline employees and their dependents” attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), including two in Florida.
The program will be administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Students from more than 20 schools, including Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, will be eligible for the program.
“Starting today, eligible frontline employees and their dependents can apply for scholarships and receive up to $12,000 for tuition, books and other educational expenses. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and merit and dispersed directly to each student’s college or university this fall. UNCF will oversee the program and administer the scholarship funding. The program runs through 2030,” Sodexo noted on Tuesday.
“We are excited to launch this program with UNCF and our HBCU partners,” said Sarosh Mistry, the region chair of Sodexo North America. “It will give more than 85,000 Sodexo frontline employees and their families access to funding to pursue their educational goals at the prestigious and iconic institutions where our teams proudly serve.”
“Sodexo’s commitment to our HBCUs and the students they serve is outstanding, and we thank them for this new gift,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of the UNCF. “Diversity across all sectors of the U.S. economy is important, and our member institutions, along with all other HBCUs, add a significant boost to the annual American economic landscape—delivering a $14.8 billion impact each year. Ensuring that more students of color can attend our HBCUs and earn their degrees—while at the same time helping them bring vital economic impact for their communities, regions and states—brings a win-win for everyone involved. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Sodexo, and hope others like them will join us as well.”
Kevin Derby used to be the registrar at Edward Waters College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.