CVS is the latest company to reveal its plans to invest more money in communities of colour. Over the summer, brands like Glossier and Anastasia Beverly Hills donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter and other organisations fighting racial injustice in response to the death of George Floyd. Now, CVS has announced that it recently teamed up with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to establish a five-year, $5 million scholarship program through the CVS Health Foundation. The scholarships in question will be awarded to Black and Latinx students pursuing an academic career in healthcare.
"This scholarship will feed a robust pipeline of under-represented students, which will in turn strengthen the pool of talented college graduates ready for today's and tomorrow's workplace," David Casey, CVS Health's senior VP and chief diversity officer, said in a statement. "Enabling students to excel in the workforce particularly people of colour and those facing financial barriers advances our commitment to social justice and equity and will have a lasting impact."
These scholarships have a big impact on the graduation rates of minority students. According to research conducted by UNCF's Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, 70 percent of Black first-year students who received a UNCF scholarship graduated within six years, compared to only 38 percent of all Black students nationwide. Additionally, they'll come in handy for students pursuing degrees in the midst of the pandemic, which has caused financial hardships for thousands of families.
"We know that African American, Latinx, and other minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic," UNCF's president and CEO Michael L. Lomax said. "It's particularly important right now to welcome as many students of colour as we can into the health care field."
The CVS Health scholarship is need-based and will be awarded to students majoring in areas like pharmacy, nursing, business management, biology, and biochemistry, among a handful of others. Only Black and Latinx students attending accredited four-year colleges or universities in the US are eligible to apply. Applications are now being accepted by the UNCF through April 1.