An entrepreneur from Texas is paying it forward by investing in the education of HBCU students. According to CBS46, 24-year-old Bryce Thompson created a scholarship fund to provide financial support for individuals attending historically Black colleges and universities.
Through the $100,000 endowment—which was created by Thompson’s IAMS Foundation in collaboration with the scholarship matching platform Scholly—10 HBCU students who were facing financial barriers were awarded scholarships. Thompson—a proud Morehouse alum—is one of the founders of the TradeHouse Investment Group; a financial literacy and investment company dedicated to economically empowering disenfranchised communities.
While at Morehouse, Thompson faced financial struggles and his uncle covered his tuition for his first year of school. Inspired by his uncle’s generosity, he wanted to support students who have encountered the same obstacles. “I am a testament to how giving back can change the trajectory of one’s life,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “If it were not for my uncle’s generosity, I wouldn’t have been able to attend Morehouse and develop a network of like-minded individuals who would go on to become my business partners. Investing in my community will always be one of the smartest, most valuable business decisions I’ll ever make.” Students from Morehouse, Hampton University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, Philander Smith College, Texas Southern University and Livingstone College were given scholarships.
Efforts like the one led by Thompson and Scholly are needed. According to research conducted by the United Negro College Fund, students who attend HBCUs borrow student loans at higher rates than their peers at non-HBCUs. HBCUs enroll a greater share of low-income students who have higher levels of unmet financial needs.