Martin Luther King Jr. Day Reminds Us All That Service Is What Makes America Great

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to reflect on a visionary leader for social justice, the progress our country has made, and the work we still have to do. It is also a “day on” that inspires service across the nation, for as Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” This year, we have the unique opportunity to approach service with fresh eyes, and the ability to move toward making a Service Year — in which young adults ages 18 to 28 from all backgrounds, commit to a year of full-time service — a common expectation across our country.

A Service Year can solve pressing social issues: educating our children, reclaiming the environment, responding to natural disasters, and fighting poverty, to name a few. Service can also unite the country by bringing people together from diverse backgrounds — rich and poor, African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Latino, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, inner city and suburban, rural and urban.

In addition, service can help bridge the civilian military divide and instill a larger sense of civic duty. Leaders like General Stanley McChrystal, who chairs Service Year Alliance, are working towards a time when “every year, one million young Americans are engaged in a Service Year, solving important problems while transforming their own lives.”

We should soon get to a day when military service and civilian service are seen as two sides of the same coin, and when veterans and civilians unite in service to our country. We envision a day when all young people seek to join the Army or AmeriCorps, the Navy or the Peace Corps, the Marines or YouthBuild, the Air Force or Teach For America, the Coast Guard or City Year. Ultimately, a Service Year should be a rite of passage, allowing every young American the opportunity to be part of a greatest generation that confronts the most pressing social issues of their day.

Service also helps to facilitate a smooth transition for veterans coming home from war, empowering them to be leaders to strengthen our civil society. Our Got Your 6 campaign, along with nonprofits like The Mission Continues, Team Rubicon, and Team RWB, are showing that civilian service by veterans both helps smooth their return home, and provides them with meaningful ways to continue to contribute to the nation. All of us benefit from their leadership.

What’s more, as Green City Force and The Corps Network have shown, service is a way to engage hundreds of thousands of opportunity youth and young adults in their first job, unleashing their energy and idealism, and providing them with a pathway to greater opportunity. Service can be a passageway to the American Dream, because those who serve can receive vital skills for the workplace, and earn a post-service higher education benefit, such as the Segal Award.
A study by Teachers College, Columbia University demonstrates that service is a great investment. Every $1 invested in national service programs returns $4 to society. Service is a critical component in the overall health of our nation and economy, and leaders from other industries are beginning to take note.

For example, Service Year Alliance teamed up with technology companies, like Cisco Systems, to establish ServiceYear.org – a state-of-the-art online marketplace and resource hub – with the goal of growing full-time service year opportunities from the current 65,000 each year to 100,000 in 2019, thus improving conditions for large-scale, long-term growth. And we should challenge all companies to join Employers of National Service, an initiative that connects Service Year alumni with meaningful employment. More than 400 companies have joined the effort thus far.

The new energy and commitments around service build off a fine American tradition led by Presidents from both sides of the aisle. President Kennedy founded the Peace Corps, President Johnson created VISTA, and President Nixon laid the foundation for the Senior Corps.

President Reagan said, “Let us pledge to restore, in our time, the American spirit of voluntary service…a spirit that flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation.” President George H. W. Bush created the first Office of National Service and established Points of Light and The Commission on National and Community Service.

President Clinton created the Corporation for National and Community Service and founded AmeriCorps. President George W. Bush founded the USA Freedom Corps and grew both AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act reauthorizing and expanding national service programs.

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talks possibility of political future: ‘I care deeply about our country’

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson talks possibility of political future: 'I care deeply about our country'

By Jessica Napoli, Fox News

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the biggest stars in the world and even though he’s only teased running for president in the past, in a new interview he admitted he’s taken plans one step beyond that.

While speaking to Vanity Fair, the 49-year-old actor/producer/businessman said he’s spoken to people in the political arena and done “a small amount of research and analysis to see where this [support] comes from and to see what it could look like in the future.”

Johnson revealed, “Indicators are all very positive — in, for example, 2024, and in, for example, 2028.”

The former pro wrestling star confirmed he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of having a political future but “at the end of the day, I don’t know the first thing about politics. I don’t know the first thing about policy.”

“I care deeply about our country. I care about every f–king American who bleeds red, and that’s all of them. And — there’s no delusion here — I may have some decent leadership qualities, but that doesn’t necessarily make me a great presidential candidate. That’s where I am today,” Johnson confirmed.

The “Jungle Cruise” actor last spoke about his political aspirations back in April on the “TODAY” show. “I do have that goal to unite our country,” he told host Willie Geist. “I also feel that, if this is what the people want, then I will do that.”

Johnson went on to note that the ability to unify Americans is a necessity for the longevity of the nation.

“I am passionate about making sure that our country is united because a united country, as we know, is the strongest, and I want to see that for our country,” he concluded.

Johnson also responded on social media to a poll that claimed he would have massive support from Americans if he actually established and ran a presidential campaign.

“I don’t think our Founding Fathers EVER envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club – but if it ever happens it’d be my honor to serve you, the people,” Johnson tweeted at the time.

The actor isn’t known for speaking about politics often but broke his own protocol last year to endorse Joe Biden for president in his first public backing of a candidate.

After Biden’s win, he shared another video to Instagram congratulating the president on his victory, admitting that he felt “emotional” when the news broke.

Click here to read the full article on Fox News.

HBCU Week Foundation Hosts 5th Annual Event Giving High School Students Opportunities for On-the-Spot College Acceptance and Scholarships

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HBCU WEEK logo in bright colors

HBCU Week to take place in person and virtually Sept. 26 to Oct. 3; Students have opportunity to experience life at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) through week of homecoming-style events, including a Wanda Sykes comedy show and Battle of the Bands

This back-to-school season, the HBCU Week Foundation is giving high school students from across the country the chance to experience life at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) during a week-long series of events, mirroring the legendary HBCU Homecoming experience. HBCU Week will take place in Wilmington, Del., and virtually, Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, giving students of color and their families the opportunity to participate in events such as Battle of the Bands, an R&B concert featuring Wale and Queen Naija, and a comedy show hosted by celebrated comedian and HBCU alumna Wanda Sykes.

The highlight of HBCU Week is its signature College Fair, at which students have the chance to meet with HBCU recruiters from across the country and earn on-the-spot acceptances and scholarships. This provides students an amazing opportunity to secure an early connection to college, community and culture at an HBCU. Registration for all events, including the Virtual College Fair (taking place Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET) is available at HBCUWeek.org.

Since its inception in 2017, the College Fair has resulted in more than 3,000 on-the-spot college acceptances and more than $18.5 million in scholarships awarded by HBCUs and corporate partners. This year’s College Fair includes a variety of corporate partners, including Barclays and The City of Wilmington, some of which will be offering scholarships and internship opportunities, totaling over $6.7 million.

“Our goal with HBCU Week is to provide Black and Brown students the chance to experience what life is like at an HBCU, a clear path to enrollment, scholarships and the connections to confidently own their power throughout their careers,” said Ashley Christopher, founder and CEO of HBCU Week Foundation. “As a double HBCU alumna, I know firsthand that culture and community played an integral part in growing my confidence and helped me find and amplify my voice as a Black woman.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s HBCU Week was entirely virtual and saw record attendance and participation. In 2020, HBCU Week’s College Fair delivered 803 on-the-spot acceptances and $7.3 million in scholarships, including 226 partial and 44 full-ride offers.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for an HBCU. What I received from attending Winston-Salem State — a Brotherhood and Sisterhood best described as a Family Affair — exceeded my wildest dreams,” said ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, HBCU Week National Ambassador and alumnus of Winston-Salem State University. “I was surrounded by folks who looked like me, shared my cultural background and cared enough about me to take a personal interest in my ascension. From professors to administrators to classmates themselves, failure was not an option.”

There are 104 HBCUs nationwide. They represent 3% of U.S. colleges and universities but are responsible for 25% of all African American science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and 14% of African American engineering degrees. Most HBCU students are Black or Brown, but students of all races are admitted. White, Hispanic, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander students make up 22% of total enrollments.

“All my late-coach Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines ever asked of me was to do what I could to uplift HBCUs across the nation. It is the easiest request I’ve ever received,” Smith added. “I’m honored to be the Brand Ambassador for HBCU Week, and I look forward to remaining so for a very long time.”

To view the full schedule of events and to register visit https://www.hbcuweek.org/events/.

HBCU Week’s major corporate partners include Barclays and The City of Wilmington. Other partners of the event include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, AstraZeneca, American Chemistry Council, Bank of America, Capital One, Chemours, Delaware State University, Donate Delaware, DuPont, JP Morgan Chase & Co., LexisNexis, MLB, New Castle County Delaware, NFL and Salesforce.

HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. partnerships have had a lasting impact on students. Notably, the Foundation has partnered with the American Chemical Council (ACC), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and The Chemours Company to offer the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI). FOSSI is a national chemical industry-wide program which provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in STEM fields at HBCUs, helping to eliminate financial barriers for historically under-represented groups. Sponsored by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years and connects these students to leadership development, mentoring and internship opportunities at participating companies. To date, FOSSI has raised nearly $12 million in funding in support of 245 scholars. Learn more at futureofstemscholars.org.

Applications for all HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. scholarships open Oct. 1, 2021. Visit HBCUWeek.org for more details.

About the HBCU Week Foundation
The mission of the HBCU Week Foundation (www.hbcuweek.org) is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCUs, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. The most impactful event during HBCU Week is the HBCU College Fair. HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Maia Chaka Is The 1st Black Woman To Officiate An NFL Game

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Line judge Maia Chaka signals during the game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 12 in Charlotte, N.C. Chaka made history as the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game.

By Dana Farrington NPR

Maia Chaka has made history as the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game.

She said ahead of Sunday’s game between the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers that it would be a proud moment.

“This historic moment to me is an honor and it’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America, proving that I can defy the odds and overcome,” Chaka said in a video released by the NFL.

She said she hopes she can inspire and empower others “to step outside the box and to do something different.” Chaka is the second woman hired as a full-time NFL official. The first was Sarah Thomas, who refereed the Super Bowl this year.

The NFL hired its first Black official, Burl Toler, in 1965.

When the announcement came in March that she would be added to the NFL officiating roster, Chaka said she was personally honored.

“But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment,” she said. “It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Chaka has made a career officiating college football and is a health and physical education teacher in Virginia Beach public schools. She joined the NFL’s Officiating Development Program in 2014.

The Undefeated reports that Chaka has the words “hustle, grind, conquer, dominate” on a wall in her office, and that her first dream as a kid was actually to be the first woman in the NBA.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

The Types of Government Contracts & What You Need to Know

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Black mature businessman working on laptop

When it comes to running your small business, one of the greatest assets you can acquire to help you succeed is a government contract.

The U.S. government is the largest customer in the world. It buys all types of products and services — in both large and small quantities — and it’s required by law to consider buying from small businesses.

The government wants to buy from small businesses for several reasons, including:

  • To ensure that large businesses don’t “muscle out” small businesses
  • To gain access to the new ideas that small businesses provide
  • To support small businesses as engines of economic development and job creation
  • To offer opportunities to disadvantaged socio-economic groups

There are a multitude of contracts that can be obtained and further searched into using Sam.gov, but here are a few of the different types of government contracts that could help fund your small business:

Set-aside contracts for small businesses:

To help provide a level playing field for small businesses, the government limits competition for certain contracts to small businesses. Those contracts are called “small business set-asides,” and they help small businesses compete for and win federal contracts.

There are two kinds of set-aside contracts: competitive set-asides and sole-source set-asides.

Competitive set-aside contracts:

When at least two small businesses could perform the work or provide the products being purchased, the government sets aside the contract exclusively for small businesses. With few exceptions, this happens automatically for all government contracts under $150,000.

Some set-asides are open to any small business, but some are open only to small businesses who participate in SBA contracting assistance programs.

Sole-source set-aside contracts:

Most contracts are competitive, but sometimes there are exceptions to this rule. Sole-source contracts are a kind of contract that can be issued without a competitive bidding process. This usually happens in situations where only a single business can fulfill the requirements of a contract. To be considered for a sole-source contract, register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM) and participate in any contracting program you may qualify for.

In some cases, sole-source contracts must be published publicly, and will be marked with an intent to sole source. Potential vendors can still view and bid on these contracts. Once the bidding process begins, the intent to sole-source may be withdrawn.

Contracting Assistance Programs:

The federal government uses special programs to help small businesses win at least at 23 percent of all federal contracting dollars each year. There are different programs for different attributes of a small business, such as:

8 (a) Business Development Program: Small Disadvantaged businesses.

Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program: Women-owned businesses

Veteran assistance program: Veteran-owned businesses

HUBZone Program: Historically underutilized businesses

SBA Mentor-Protégé program: Sets up your business with an experienced government contractor

Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program: Provides natural resources and surplus property to small businesses.

Joint Ventures: Allows businesses to team up and acquire government contracts (more info below)

Joint Ventures:

Two or more small businesses may pool their efforts by forming a joint venture to compete for a contract award. A joint venture of multiple small businesses still qualifies for small business set-aside contracts if its documentation meets SBA requirements.

Small businesses that have a mentor-protege relationship through the All-Small Mentor-Protege program can form a joint venture with a mentor (which can be a large business). These joint ventures can compete together for government contracts reserved for small businesses.

A joint venture can also bid on contracts that are set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned, women-owned, or HUBZone businesses, if a member of the joint venture meets SBA requirements to do so.

Resources

If you still have questions or are looking for additional information, visit sam.gov or sba.gov. No matter what your situation is, there are many opportunities available to help your small business succeed.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Latinas are working together to create a pipeline of diversity in STEM

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Young black male college student with black female teacher looking over computer graphic

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, collectively known as STEM make up the fastest-growing and highest paid fields in the U.S. with diverse job opportunities in careers ranging from aerospace engineers, programmer to operations director, yet Latinas only account for 3% of the industry.

Unfortunately, many Latinas are discouraged from pursuing STEM careers and loose interest in these disciplines as early as middle school. This is why early intervention curriculums like the ones provided by XYLO Academy are key to increasing the representation of Latinas in the STEM workforce.

Getting to college is another challenge as underrepresented students face steep costs and challenges to higher education. According to a recent study published in the journal Education Researcher Latino college students drop out of STEM programs at higher rates (37%) that their white peers (27%).

Continual increases in tuition and fees have pushed the cost of college education beyond the means of most minority and underrepresented students. This is why IO Scholarships offers free access to scholarships and financial education so high school, undergraduate and graduate students can find life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

Despite all the challenges, these two Latinas are working together to fix the leaking pipeline, providing scholarships, and creating STEM curriculums for women of color.

Gabriela Forter
Co-founder XYLO Academy

Gabriela Forter headshot

Born and raised in the California San Joaquin Valley, Gabriela’s first introduction to entrepreneurship was during a course with Professor Rostamian at UCLA in 2015. This class significantly shaped not only her academic interests but also her career path. Gabriela and Professor Rostamian have now launched XYLO Academy to scale this same impact. After spending two and a half years at Deloitte Consulting, Gabriela joined Facebook, focusing on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. She is confident that the most meaningful changes in society will come from advancements in disruptive innovations and seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. She is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and believes that change starts with education.

“Our goal at XYLO Academy is to educate students on disruptive innovation and inspire them to pursue degrees and careers in STEM and with our partnership with IO Scholarships we are creating a pipeline for these students to have access to the best scholarships in STEM and realize their dreams.”

María Trochimezuk
Founder IO Scholarships

María Trochimezuk headshot

Her determination and hard work paid off as she won grants and scholarships to pay for her entire education. In realizing how time consuming and complicated the process of finding scholarships for STEM diverse students was, María Fernanda created IO Scholarships to make things much easier. She learned first-hand to find, apply for and win scholarships and became an advocate promoting scholarships nationwide.

“IOScholarships was inspired by my own experience as I was very fortunate to access scholarships to attend prestigious universities and realized that more could be done to support minority students especially now as STEM education becomes more important to workforce opportunities,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IO Scholarships. “IO Scholarships will not only help underrepresented students find scholarships, but level the playing field so all students have the opportunity to achieve their education goals.”

ABOUT XYLO ACADEMY

We are a group of passionate and skilled storytellers. We believe that students everywhere should have the power and ability to access a world-class education. We believe that technology and innovation, especially disruptive innovation, provides unlimited potential for the future. XYLO Academy introduces this space to students in a bold, story-telling format breaking down any barriers that impede equal opportunity to explore, learn and thrive in the 5 disruptive innovation platforms: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, Robotics, Energy Storage and Bio Tech. We have diverse experiences and backgrounds across technology, product innovations and education. We are united in our passion to provide equal access to the study of technology and innovation. Our diversity is our strength, and our mission is our singular focus. XYLO – Unlimited space for learning and opportunity.

ABOUT IO SCHOLARSHIPS

Most of the scholarships featured on the IOScholarships website come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. Each month IO Scholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities.

In addition to providing scholarships, IO Scholarships website offers a free scholarship organizer, news articles designed to provide guidance on how to apply for scholarships, and money saving tips. The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IO Scholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com or for weekly STEM scholarships email maria.fernanda@ioscholarships.com.

STEM Internship Opportunities for Diverse Students

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diverse male student with mentor looking at computer screen together

IOScholarships (IOS), the first of its kind scholarship and financial education platform for minority STEM students has been designed with a streamlined user-friendly interface that offers great functionality to help high school, undergraduate and graduate students find STEM scholarships and internship opportunities. IOScholarships proprietary matching algorithm can match students with life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

Statistically speaking, minorities tend to be underrepresented in STEM fields. That’s why corporations often create internship opportunities for minorities entering the industry.

“As the job market is becoming more competitive in addition to GPA and personal achievements, employers want to see applicants who have completed one or more internships,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the many internships for minorities in STEM fields

Facebook Software Engineer Internship

The Software Engineer Internship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in computer science or a related field. Interns will help build the next generation of systems behind Facebook’s products, create web applications that reach millions of people, build high volume servers, and be a part of a team that’s working to help people connect with each other around the globe.

Microsoft Internship Program

For Women and Minorities this program is specifically designed for undergraduate minority college freshmen and sophomores interested in a paid summer internship in software engineering. Students must major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related disciplines.

Minority Access Internship

The Minority Access Internship Program has internships on offered in the spring, summer and fall to college sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduates, and professionals. Interns receive pre-employment training and counseling on career choices as well as professional development, with the possibility of full-time employment after graduation.

Google Internships

Google offers rich learning experiences for college students that include pay. As a technical intern, you are excited about tackling the hard problems in technology. With internships across the globe, ranging from Software Engineering to User Experience, Google offers many opportunities to grow with them.

The majority of the scholarships and internships featured on the IOScholarships website come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com.

National Spelling Bee winner Zaila Avant-garde Makes Red Carpet Debut

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Spelling Bee winner Aaila Avant garde poses on red carpet wearing a long blue dress and yellow hoop earrings

Zaila Avant-garde just had one of the best weeks ever. The Scripps National Spelling Bee champion attended the 2021 ESPYs in New York City this past weekend and was all smiles.

She also made a joyful red carpet appearance ahead of the show wearing a beautiful blue gown along with a bright yellow headband and hoop earrings.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Avant-garde said during a red carpet moment. She said she still can’t quite believe she won the National Spelling Bee.

“So I’m still waiting for that to settle in on me,” she said. “I guess my weekend is going to get even more exciting when I realize.”

The 14-year-old spelling champion also made history as the first African American winner, as well as the first speller from Louisiana to win the annual competition.

“It felt like really good to become a winner simply because of the fact that I’ve been like working on it for like two years and then to finally have it like the best possible outcome was really good,” Avant-garde told “Good Morning America” just hours after her historic win.

Photo credit: ABC News

Read the original article posted on ABC News.

The Annual BDPA Technology and Career Fair – Win Scholarship in the “Design A Mobile App Showcase’!

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Man's hand holding display of mobile app design

You will design, pitch and demo the app to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship.

Hi Students,

The National Mobile App showcase is a great opportunity to improve your programming skills in the language of your choice and learn about product development.

Design and build any application you are passionate about and learn how to give a compelling pitch to an audience of companies looking for students like you!

This competition is here for independent, driven students.

We will provide lightweight checkpoints to help you think through your app, troubleshoot, and finish a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by the end of the summer.

Build your app at your own pace.

Register Here!

During the Annual BDPA Conference on August 12-14, 2021, you will pitch and demo the app to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship upward We’ve got great prizes this year.

1st Place College Scholarship $3,000
2nd Place College Scholarship $2,000
3rd Place College Scholarship $1,250

1st Place High School $1,750
2nd Place High School $1,250
3rd Place High Scholarship $750

Hope to see you there!

Best,
The Mobile App Showcase Team
mobileapps@bdpa.org

IOScholarships Certified as a Minority-Owned Business

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two diverse tech students in classroom reviewing work on computer screen

IOScholarships (IOS), the first of its kind free scholarship and financial education platform for minority STEM students announced it was granted its Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification as a validation of its status as a minority-owned business.

The certification verifies that IOScholarships, LLC meets the criteria which requires a business to be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by racial or ethnic minorities who are also U.S. citizens.

“Getting our MBE certification was a natural step for IOScholarships as we continue our ongoing commitment to minority students. We look forward to working with our sponsors and partners to continue helping underrepresented students go to college debt-free.” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships.

Most of the scholarships featured on www.ioscholarships.com come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. Each month IOScholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and also posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities. The platform also offers a blog with financial education information and a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

IOScholarships is proud to join the National Scholarship Providers Association an organization that offers tools, resources, professional development, and networking needed to administer a successful scholarship and student support program. In 2019, NSPA awarded $4,275,054,382 to 827,327 students.

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com or for weekly STEM scholarships email maria.fernanda@ioscholarships.com.

Biden’s pick for appeals court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, clears Senate hurdle despite GOP opposition

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Ketanji Brown Jackson speaking into a mic

By John Fritze, USA TODAY

President Joe Biden’s nominee for a powerful appeals court who is also being watched as a potential future Supreme Court pick cleared a procedural hurdle Thursday in the Senate and is on track for confirmation as soon as next week. The Senate also confirmed Zahid Quraishi as the nation’s first Muslim federal judge. Despite opposition from some Republicans, the Senate agreed 52-46 to cut off debate on the appeals court nomination of U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, meaning her confirmation for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is all but assured.

The Senate has ramped up its approval of Biden’s judicial nominees in recent weeks and the chamber also cut off debate Thursday on Quraishi, a federal magistrate, and confirmed him 81-16 for a judgeship in the District of New Jersey. Quraishi had previously served as a military prosecutor, an Army captain and an assistant U.S. attorney.

But it is Jackson who has received the most attention among Biden’s early picks because she is considered a likely future nominee for the Supreme Court. Her confirmation to the appeals court is expected to take place as soon as Monday.

During the presidential campaign, Biden promised to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history, and Jackson’s name has appeared in the mix of leading candidates ever since. She was on President Barack Obama’s shortlist for a spot on the nation’s highest court after Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016.

Biden’s first opportunity to follow through on his campaign pledge would likely come if Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, retires sometime before the 2022 midterm election. Breyer hasn’t indicated whether or not he plans to retire this year.

Click here to read the full article on USA Today.

J.P. Morgan Creates Scholarship Program for Black College Students

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Jp Morgan building with sign. JP morgan is creating scholarships for black college students.

By Jeff Berman, Think Advisor

In the latest J.P. Morgan diversity and equity initiative, the firm has teamed with the United Negro College Fund to create the J.P. Morgan Wealth Management HBCU Scholarship Program. The initiative is part of the $30 billion Path Forward commitment to advance racial equity that JPMorgan Chase announced Oct. 8. Building on that commitment, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management said in March it set a goal to hire 300 more Black and Latino advisors by 2025.

The new scholarship program invests in students at historically Black colleges and universities who are interested in careers in financial planning “early on and creates a path for their long-term career success, strengthening the pipeline of diverse talent” for JPMWM, the firm and UNCF said in a joint announcement Monday. The program will provide scholarships and mentorships to students attending one of 11 HBCUs across the U.S. and help them develop the skills they need to grow a career as a financial advisor, they said.

JPMWM will award 75 scholarships annually over the next five years. Students receiving the scholarships will have the opportunity to participate in two summer experiences: the Advancing Black Pathways Fellowship Program and the first-of-its-kind J.P. Morgan Wealth Management Service Center Internship. After completing the internship program, students will also be eligible for another scholarship to be applied to their senior year.

“We’re committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, and that begins by investing in students early on and creating a path for their long-term career success,” according to Christopher Thompson, head of Diverse Advisor Experiences at JPMWM. “We look forward to unlocking an enormous talent potential while boosting interest in a career as a financial advisor, which has excellent growth potential,” he said in a statement.

Click here to read the full article on Think Advisor.

Vice President Harris Becomes The First Woman To Speak At U.S. Navy Commencement

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Vice President Harris speaks at the graduation and commission ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The 63rd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, Vice Admiral Sean Buck, is at right.

By , NPR

Vice President Harris on Friday described a political moment “unlike any era that came before” as she addressed the graduating class of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

She became the first female commencement speaker in the school’s history. In front of an outdoor audience at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Harris urged graduating midshipmen to defend the country against a number of global threats, including cybersecurity attacks, climate change and biological hazards like the coronavirus.

Comparing the COVID-19 crisis to other “critical moments” that have shaped the nation’s history — including Pearl Harbor, the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Sept. 11 attacks — Harris told graduates that they are walking into a “rapidly changing” world.

“The global pandemic you see, of course, has accelerated what was happening before and has accelerated our world into a new era. It has forever impacted our world. It has forever influenced our perspective,” she said. “If we weren’t clear before, we know now: Our world is interconnected. Our world is interdependent. And our world is fragile.”

The address comes as the Biden administration navigates a number of global challenges, including a probe into the origins of the coronavirus, a fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and cyberattacks from Russia. In March, President Biden asked Harris to lead the administration’s diplomatic efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries to address migration at the U.S. border, though she did not mention immigration in the speech.

The White House also announced last month that the United States would withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

With her focus on potential threats to the United States, Harris’s remarks set a different tone from those of former President Donald Trump, who addressed the Naval Academy in 2018. In that speech, Trump told graduates that “we are witnessing the great reawakening of the American spirit and of American might.”

Harris expressed confidence in the U.S. military’s ability to put the country at “a strategic advantage,” citing its role in the development of technologies like walkie talkies, the internet and satellite navigation. She also noted the military’s involvement in the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines — and she praised graduates for getting vaccinated.

“You guys rolled up your sleeves and you got vaccinated and you made it to this day,” she said to a round of applause.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

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