Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (DRDFS), in partnership with Scholarship America, awarded Trailblazer Scholarships to ten deserving DRDFS college students. The scholarship is a $4,000 per year award renewable for four years or until a Bachelor’s Degree is completed, whichever comes first.

This award is part of Scholarship America’s goal to grant a majority of their scholarships to high-need, historically marginalized students so they can realize the benefits of a high-quality college degree or credential. It also serves as an example of new ways to bring private-sector scholarship dollars and community-based student services together, in order to help students with financial needs succeed in college.

“Combining Scholarship America’s national reach with the intimate local knowledge of partners like DRDFS is a game-changer,” says Scholarship America CEO Mike Nylund. “Not only are we providing 360-degree support to students, we’re also learning how we can evolve the scholarship industry and help our funders and partners deliver the biggest and most equitable impact possible.”

In order to be eligible, students had to be enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college or university within the United States, have completed their first year of academic instruction, self-identify as Black, Latino, Indigenous, and/or of a historically marginalized community and demonstrate financial need.

“We are really excited for this opportunity to partner with Scholarship America to lessen the financial barriers of college for our students and support them in persisting through post-secondary education,” said Christa Funk, Executive Director of DRDFS. “Students, especially first-generation college students, often need more than just financial support throughout their college journey. This pilot program allows for amplified scholarships while also layering on additional holistic support to ensure students reach their educational goals.”

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