SmileDirectClub has partnered with the NAACP to launch the SmileDirectClub Scholarship to provide financial support to African American students or people of color pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to be used toward their college education.
Applications for the scholarship are due by June 18, 2021. Ten students will be selected as recipients of the scholarship by N-SPIRE, an NAACP committee that focuses on the creation, development, and awarding of scholarship programs.
The selected students will be announced on August 9, 2021. Each will receive $15,000 to use toward their tuition fees. The scholarships will be annualized over each student’s remaining years of college education, receiving at least $3,750 each year they are enrolled, with a maximum of four years, if eligibility requirements continue to be met.
“Innovation and creativity flourish in an inclusive and diverse environment where all feel welcomed and they belong. There is a lot of opportunity to increase representation of people of color in STEM, and we want to do our part,” said Cheryl DeSantis, chief people and diversity officer at SmileDirectClub.
“Through the SmileDirectClub Scholarship with the NAACP, we’re investing in the next generation of innovators and supporting the growth of diversity in STEM, a field that affects almost all aspects of our everyday lives,” said DeSantis.
“The SmileDirectClub Scholarship will help empower students in the Black community studying STEM with financial support so they can pursue their education with less of an economic burden,” said Yumeka Rushing, chief strategy officer with the NAACP.
“This partnership is one of the ways the NAACP is working to secure educational equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of everyone,” said Rushing.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be African American or a person of color and a member of the NAACP
- Be currently enrolled full-time or accepted to an accredited college or university in the United States
- Be a graduating high school senior or undergraduate student
- Possess a grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0-point system
- Demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in STEM
- Be a resident of the United States