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Earlier this week, McDonald’s USA announced that they launched their new “Black and Positively Golden Scholarship Fund to assist students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) this upcoming fall despite the impact of COVID-19.

According to a press release from McDonald’s, the scholarships will be distributed through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The announcement of the new scholarship fund coincides with the launch of ESSENCE’s Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience.

McDonald’s is partnering with the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative.

Marissa Fisher, a second-generation McDonald’s franchise owner, with four restaurants in Louisiana, said, “We know that education is the key to success. With many college students uncertain of returning to classes in the wake of COVID-19, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted. As a brand with roots that run deep in communities, McDonald’s has been part of these students’ lives while growing up and is the place where many received their first jobs. We want to help ease some of the stress caused by this pandemic as they plan to return to school.”

Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said, “This year, donations to HBCUs are even more critical, as students continue dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and, now, civil unrest and demands for Black equality. Black students, with allies from across the globe, are calling for companies to do more than issue statements and run ads. That’s why TMCF is excited to further our commitment with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college.”

Through the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative, McDonalds will launch a multi-week program for student entrepreneurs. The program will also award seed capital to select participants.

HBCU students can apply for a Black & Positively Golden scholarship now through August 3, by clicking here. For more information on McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement, follow @wearegolden on Instagram.

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