It’s not every day that you hear about an NBA player establishing a scholarship for black students who are college-bound, but that’s exactly what occurred yesterday in New York.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and The Dinwiddie Family Foundation have announced a partnership with UNCF in support of the Dinwiddie Scholars program.
According to a statement describing the program, “Dinwiddie Scholars is a renewable need- and merit-based scholarship program open to low-income minority students from Brooklyn, New York, and Los Angeles. Students selected as Dinwiddie Scholars will receive up to $20,000 in scholarships per year. UNCF will work with The Dinwiddie Family Foundation to conduct outreach to eligible students, review applications, and administer funds.”
“I am excited about the partnership with the United Negro College Fund because it is more than just another collaboration,” Dinwiddie is quoted as saying in the statement. “UNCF seamlessly allows Dinwiddie Scholars a way to provide real impact in the communities that I hold dear to my heart. It also gives immediate access to infrastructure, processes, and resources to manage the program, ultimately allowing quicker access to higher education for a group of young people that have been marginalized for far too long.”
Scholarship recipients can apply their funds to tuition as well as to up-front costs, enrollment fees, and other expenses associated with college. These add up and are not insignificant. According to a survey by 1,000 Dreams Fund, such “hidden costs” affect college choice and whether or not some students graduate, so this scholarship will mean a lot to recipients.
Dinwiddie will work with his Brooklyn Nets teammates as well as other NBA players to raise funds for the scholarship; however, he will provide the bulk of the contributions, the statement says.
THE DINWIDDIE FAMILY FOUNDATION
“UNCF is proud to partner with The Dinwiddie Family Foundation as they invest in the lives and futures of minority scholars in Los Angeles and Brooklyn,” says Jennifer Childress, area development director of UNCF Los Angeles, in a statement. “It is especially meaningful that the foundation has committed to continuing to support students for the duration of their college years, making it possible for them to pursue the essential academic and extracurricular opportunities that will position them for leadership and achievement in college and beyond.”
Scholarship applications will be available in January. To apply, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA; be a citizen, legal permanent resident, or national of the United States; have attended a public or public charter high school in Los Angeles County or the borough of Brooklyn; be African American or black; and plan to enroll at a U.S.-based, accredited college or university in the fall as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student.