ORLANDO (October 7, 2022) – Representatives of The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) today announced that the program is more than halfway towards meeting its ambitious goal of supporting 1000 scholars through 2025. The announcement was made during the first ever HBCU Week at Disney World, hosted by FOSSI Founding Partner, The HBCU Week Foundation.To date, the program has raised funding for 550 scholarships at an investment approaching $30MM, helping to develop a new, more inclusive generation of STEM talent.
Through partnerships with chemical manufacturers and affiliated stakeholders, FOSSI provides $40,000 scholarships to students studying preferred science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program also offers leadership development, mentorship and internship opportunities, and a one-to-one match with one of 60 sponsors committed to helping scholars achieve their goals.
FOSSI Chairman, Mark Vergnano, former CEO of The Chemours Company, noted the historic nature of the program, “Never before has our industry come together to make such a significant, meaningful impact on the lives of historically under-represented students. This simply would not be possible without the support of our Corporate Sponsors. We are incredibly proud of this achievement and look forward to building and growing FOSSI in continued partnership with the HBCU Week Foundation.”
To help meet this important milestone, more than 20 organizations signed on to support future FOSSI classes, providing a strong foundation for FOSSI and its students in the future. These include:
- A C& S, Incorporated
- The American Chemistry Council
- BASF Corporation
- Cabot Corporation
- The Chemours Company LLC
- Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC
- Kraton Corporation
- Merck & Co., Inc.
- PPG Industries, Inc.
- Sasol (USA) Corporation
- The Shepherd Chemical Company
- Solvay America, Inc.
- W.R. Grace & Co.
Founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, Ashley Christopher, spoke to the value FOSSI provides in driving students to pursue STEM at HBCUs across the county. “FOSSI has created a model for partnerships which enable students to pursue their dream of attending an HBCU with less financial burden. Importantly, by providing training and support from mentors at Corporate Sponsors, it can also help to increase the number of students that graduate from HBCUs.”