Claflin University announces that Primary Talent Partners (PTP) will invest $100,000 to support scholarships at Claflin University through its DiversIT Scholars program. PTP will fund 40 scholarships over the next five years to help remove financial barriers that often lead to high attrition rates among students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). PTP's goal is to increase Black representation nationwide in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.
According to the Pew Research Center, Black students earn only seven percent of the nation's bachelor's degrees in STEM. "Study after study demonstrates that Black students leave STEM majors at far higher rates than their white peers," said Dr. Marcus Burgess, interim vice president for institutional advancement at Claflin University. "The PTP donation helps us make impactful changes by providing tuition assistance for students committed to completing their degree requirements.”
Thanks to PTP's program, Claflin University graduates will contribute directly to increasing the number of Black professionals in the STEM workplace. By supporting HBCUs that are working to increase Black representation in STEM careers, organizations can assure that the pool delivers a steady stream of qualified graduates.
Tinisha Bookhart, PTP Founder, said that strengthening the Claflin partnership makes sense when considering the level of talented STEM scholars the University produces each year.
"Our clients are anxious to hire more Blacks in STEM positions," Bookhart said. "We have witnessed Claflin's success and we are confident that this infusion of funds will help the University expand the number of Black computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and scientists across the board that will enter the workforce. We're excited to help make this happen."
Dr. Karina Liles, assistant professor of Computer Science at Claflin University, said the investment will make a significant difference in the lives of the students receiving the DiversIT scholarships. "Every day, we see bright and driven students that must put their career goals on hold due to financial constraints.
I look forward to seeing these funds from PTP make a significant impact on diversity in the STEM workplace."
PTP founded the DiversIT Scholars program in 2018. It was designed to increase the number of minority candidates in STEM-related fields by offering substantive financial and emotional support to HBCU students enrolled in STEM programs. PTP co-brands these scholarships with clients, furthering the benefit for everyone involved.
Scholarships are funded via a percentage of every hour billed to clients. The funds deliver several benefits to STEM students attending HBCUs, including a $2,500 scholarship, clothing, and housing stipends to remove barriers to meaningful internships in high cost of living locations and mentors throughout their college careers.
"The honor of being a Divers-IT scholar has been the best experience during my matriculation," said AaLeeyah Housey, DiversIT Scholar and 2022 graduate of Claflin University. "The scholarship reduced my financial burden and allowed me to focus on the most crucial aspect of school - learning.
The continued support and mentoring they provided made me a much better candidate for the job market. I was more prepared than I could have ever imagined. I am deeply appreciative of Primary Talent Partners and how they helped me get closer to achieving my career goals."