The Hilltoss has launched a new $1,000 sustainability scholarship, which funds the recipient’s project to improve the environment and foster sustainability over the academic year.
With applications due Nov. 9, the sustainability scholarship is part of Students of Georgetown, Inc.’s effort to increase its scholarship offerings and meet the financial need of more students on campus.
This year, The Corp awarded five scholarships, including the Dream Big scholarship, the Uncommon Grounds Arts Scholarship and the Midnight MUG textbook scholarship.
The Dream Big scholarship, sponsored by The Corp’s IT+Marketing Department, furnishes a MacBook Air equipped with AppleCare and Microsoft Office for a student who demonstrates substantial need, while the Midnight Mug textbook scholarship allocates $500 to three students to fund textbook purchases for the academic year.
The MUG scholarship application, due Nov. 21, seeks to award scholarships totaling $8,000 to students who have had defining international experiences, or are international students themselves and have an international purpose or project they wish to support.
This year’s recipient of the Dream Big scholarship Precious Blalock (COL ’19) said The Corp scholarships help mitigate the socioeconomic barriers students face at Georgetown.
“I thought that by attending [Georgetown] I would be able to escape the poverty that befell the community, but I found myself dealing with the same pressures I encountered back home,” Blalock said. “The Corp’s IT Scholarship was something that I could do to change my own situation. Winning this scholarship gave me the confidence to know that, ‘You made it here, of course you belong.’”
While the Dream Big scholarship received 30 applications, The Corp’s Philanthropy Chair Kobby Adu-Diawuo (COL ’17) said he aspires to achieve a larger volume of applicants to ensure all students who could benefit from scholarships have the opportunity to apply.
“I think one of the biggest issues that we have now is that it’s very hard to reach a wide audience in terms of getting as many applications as possible,” Adu-Diawuo said. “These are really cool opportunities and it would be nice to figure out a way to get as many people as possible. It might sound a bit lofty but I think [the Dream Big Scholarship] should be the kind of thing that receives over a hundred applications.”
The Corp’s Philanthropy committee has been looking into ways to increase student engagement in the scholarship program, mainly by collaborating with The Corp’s marketing department to launch campus-wide promotional campaigns.
According to The Corp’s Vice Chair for Philanthropy William Landi (COL ’17), each Corp scholarship needs greater visibility given that the scholarship program is the primary way the organization maintains its nonprofit status.
“This is what makes the Corp a nonprofit, and not enough people know about it,” Landi said. “Getting more people to where they need to be with their own goals and dreams and hopes and dreams and ambitions, whatever those may be, is exactly what we want to be working on.”
Midnight MUG’s scholarship will also kick off the Midnight MUG Lending Library, a plan to begin a textbook rental system with books donated by the Georgetown Community. Students who receive the textbook scholarship are encouraged to return the books supplied by the scholarship to Midnight MUG at the end of the semester to furnish the rental system.
Both the IT+Marketing Department and Midnight MUG scholarships are specifically geared to supporting students who demonstrate significant financial need, according to Adu-Diawuo.
“We’ve tried to focus on offering more need-based support,” Adu-Diawuo said. “That way we can make sure people who are receiving the Dream Big scholarship, as an example, are benefitting the most from it. We had the same goal for the textbook rental scholarship.”
Adu-Diawuo said each Corp scholarship is meant to embody the character of the service sponsoring it.
“The culture at the Hilltoss, for example, is very different from the culture at Midnight Mug, be it that they’re all under The Corp umbrella. We have worked a lot this year to make sure that scholarships really align with the culture of the store,” Adu-Diawuo said.
The Uncommon Grounds Arts Scholarship is given to students to fund original art projects that are then displayed inside Uncommon Grounds. They work with the Uncommon Grounds leadership to complete the project by Feb. 1.
Landi said that the arts scholarship provides a valuable outlet for the arts, something he believes is underrepresented at Georgetown.
“I think that the arts scholarship at UG is impactful, because I personally think that us as a school we don’t really support or celebrate the arts as much as we could,” Landi said. “There are a lot of amazing and talented people here and I don’t think they get enough credit for what they do.”
Landi said The Corp is looking to reach more students through its philanthropic efforts.
“I would like to reach more corners of campus. I think there are still plenty of underrepresented groups and I think there’s tons of students who have all these amazing individual project ideas. I just don’t think enough people know about it, and I think we need to become more of a presence on campus, a more visible stage,” Landi said.
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