Sony supports HBCU students seeking STEM with $2 million UNCF scholarship
UNCF and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced a new $2 million scholarship program aimed at supporting Black students attending historically Black colleges or universities (HBCUs) interested in gaming development as a career. UNCF will recruit for and administer the newly established HBCU Computer Science Scholarship. The program will be available to more than 50 students majoring in computer science or computer engineering who need support. The scholarship is supported by the PlayStation Career Pathways Program.
SIE’s financial contribution will support the scholarship and student participation in the UNCF Tech Innovation Summit, a crucial component of UNCF’s mission. The summit helps to prepare students with much-needed professional development as they transition into jobs in the tech and gaming industry.
“We’re thrilled to have Sony Interactive Entertainment’s commitment to create this new scholarship as part of our educational program. Through the HBCU Computer Science Academy program, SIE will invest in the preparation of a robust HBCU computer science student pipeline and produce highly qualified and motivated student cohorts, eligible for selection into this program,” said Maurice E. Jenkins, Jr., executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at UNCF. “This contribution opens new pathways for our students and we look forward to continuing our work with SIE.”
Dr. Chad Womack, Sr. Director of Stem Initiatives and Programs, and the UNCF Student Professional Development Program (SPDP) team is working together with SIE to develop and implement a customized student development program as part of the scholarship program with the goal of preparing them for internships and jobs in the gaming industry. SPDP activities will include both resume and interview preparation; and helping students to learn how to navigate corporate culture.
“We want to leverage the power of education and help provide opportunities for the next generation of Black and other underrepresented talent entering the gaming industry,” said Tiffany Johnson, Senior Director and Head of Global DE&I at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “We believe that a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible industry will contribute to greater innovation and storytelling. For us, this starts by investing in underrepresented talent and creating more exposure and visibility for them. The new scholarship supported by the PlayStation Career Pathways Program is aimed to drive meaningful change alongside many of our other initiatives.”
The first group of students to receive the scholarship will be this fall.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 13% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 24% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.
UNCF Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) scholarship program Black students historically Black colleges or universities HBCUs HBCU Computer Science Scholarship computer science computer engineering PlayStation Career Pathways Program UNCF Tech Innovation Summit Maurice E. Jenkins Jr. UNCF Student Professional Development Program SPDP Tiffany Johnson United Negro College Fund STEM degrees