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Fidelity pledges $250 million to help 50,000 underserved minority students

Fidelity pledges 0 million to help 50,000 underserved minority students

Fidelity Investments will pledge $250 million to a new education initiative to support more than 50,000 minority students with scholarships and mentorship programs over the next five years.

invest in my education The program, announced Tuesday, plans to increase graduation rates and the ability of students to become education debt-free.

Pamela Everhart, Fidelity’s head of regional public affairs and community relations, said the program is part of the firm’s plan to direct more resources to certain minority communities.

“It is a strategic focus to reduce some of the systemic and complex barriers historically disadvantaged students face,” Everhart said. “We believe that all students, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to access higher education and economic mobility and then begin building a path to generational wealth.”

Fidelity research found that 21% of black students and 32% of Latinx students graduate from college in four years, compared to 45% of white students. The company also found that, on average, Black and Latinx students earn $25,000 more in student loans than their white peers. To address those disparities, Fidelity is partnering with UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational aid to black students, and other nonprofits.

UNCF President and CEO Michael Lomax said the breadth of support in Fidelity’s Invest in My Education program will help students succeed. However, he said the most exciting part of the program is that it targets students who aren’t necessarily getting top grades at elite schools because they have to balance their studies with working jobs to pay for them. have to do what he calls “the mighty middle”.

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Lomax said, “I’m glad to see he’s getting a little bit of respect – he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of students.” “They’re not always achieving the highest academic results. But they’re keeping up the fight. They’re working. And they’re getting degrees. And they have to work doubly because people don’t always notice them and Don’t support them.”

These students, he said, attend “the workhorse institutions of American higher education – community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, state universities,” they also work hard and have a greater impact on their communities after graduation. Can put

“Helping them on that journey is extremely important,” Lomax said, adding that the mentorship component of the program, which will include Fidelity employees as well as other volunteers, is just as important as the financial scholarship.

Drew Vee, a junior at the University of Utah, said the mentorship he’s received over the past four months from the Fidelity-sponsored Opportunity Scholars program has been incredibly helpful to his studies as a finance major and as a student. Used to be. General.

Wei’ee, 29, said he moved to the University of Utah to focus fully on his studies after leaving Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he was the quarterback on the football team. Her mentor has smoothed the transition and made her feel better about her decision, as well as providing tips for building her resume and finding scholarships.

“It’s really helped me gain a lot of confidence,” Wei’e said. “And we have similar backgrounds in sports and college, so it was really easy to connect with her and I felt a lot more comfortable.”

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Ve’ee said that between scholarships and on-campus jobs, they should be able to graduate debt-free, a feat that Fidelity is prioritizing as college debt has become not only a financial problem, but an emotional one. Also because of all the concerns associated with it. with this.

Everhart said Fidelity’s investment in my Education program is structured to address several barriers to debt-free graduation, including systemic donations to better prepare high school students for further education. But for him the emphasis on mentorship is personal.

“I look forward to sharing my background as a young black girl growing up in a small town where people invested in me and saw something to encourage me to continue,” she said. “I want to make sure these students hear from people who will believe in them and take the time to listen to them, listen to their backgrounds.”

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