For the 2023-2024 academic year, McDonald’s with its Owner/Operators and partners, will increase resources and investment to more HBCU students through the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program, providing access to mental health resources and awarding $1 million in scholarships, up from $500,000 in 2022. College students should be able to focus on their studies and create unforgettable memories with new friends, but socioeconomic and pandemic-related concerns continue to impact Black students at HBCUs, leaving many in need of financial and mental health aid. As stated in a May 2022 study by the American Psychological Association, “HBCU students report that student loan repayment, financial assistance and education, and future educational expenses, are major contributing factors to stress.” So, McDonald’s partnered with Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and Alkeme to relieve some of this pressure.
“As HBCU students invest in their future and passions, McDonald’s and its franchisees remain committed to providing the tools and resources they need to help them succeed, “said Courtney Holeman, Greater Richmond, Virginia McDonald’s Franchisee. “Through meaningful partnerships like this, we can ensure students are well-equipped to confidently manage their finances and care for their mental health on their journey to academic success.”
Recipients will also receive a year-long subscription to Alkeme, a Black-owned streaming platform that provides therapist and expert-led wellbeing courses, guided meditation and livestream sessions centered around the Black experience. Through this new partnership with Alkeme, students will be able to access curated customized content and resources that center the HBCU experience and empower students to achieve their personal goals.
Applications are open now through March 27, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST to incoming and current HBCU students at tmcf.org, with winners being announced in Summer 2023.
“It’s important to build a community of culturally competent practitioners who truly understand and represent the Black experience to best support the needs of Black students,” said Ryan Mundy, founder of Alkeme Health. “We want to empower our community to be the best and highest versions of themselves, and that is why we are honored to partner with McDonald’s to help remove mental health barriers for HBCU students and provide resources to inspire wellness.”
Launched in 2020 to help HBCU students across the country break through financial barriers of achieving education in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program is committed to supporting and empowering the next generation of leaders across the country through monetary support and resources.
“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is dedicated to helping transform the lives of students at HBCUs by preparing them for the next generation of leadership in the workforce and in life,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). “We, alongside our more than 20-yearlong partners at McDonald’s, remain committed to providing the support needed for Black students to succeed at all levels.”
Students interested in applying for the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior attending an HBCU during the 2023-2024 academic school year
- Have a current cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher
- Demonstrate leadership abilities and financial need
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551